Council’s efforts to offload surplus properties such as redundant schools will be accelerated

Marc Jones EMN-151013-105535001
Marc Jones EMN-151013-105535001
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The ongoing financial squeeze is likely to accelerate Lincolnshire County Council’s efforts to offload surplus properties such as redundant schools in order to raise capital receipts.

Finance chiefs will also continue to scrutinise its portfolio of farms and other landholdings if there is a prospect of selling some to builders or developers.

According to executive director for finance Peter Moore, the hope is to rake in some £47million over the next two or three years.

Some of this is likely to be set aside for redundancy payments to those county council staff – the numbers are not yet known – who face the prospect of losing their jobs.

But both he and portfolio holder for finance Coun Marc Jones cautioned that asset disposal was not as easy or straightforward as it seems.

For instance, some farmers had long-term tenancy agreements with the rents they pay providing a steady source of income .

This would be lost to the council if they were sacrificed to secure a one-off capital receipt.

Council leader Coun Martin Hill noted that the council had “vast swathes” of farmland which offered little, if any potential for development.

Council tax rise will not be confirmed until February meeting

The county council’s proposal to raise council tax by 3.95 per cent will not be confirmed until a meeting of the full council on February 19.

Before that there will be extensive consultations, including at least one public meeting.

The issues will also come under the spotlight at a meeting of the executive at county hall on January 5.