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Councils seeking 'cash in the attic'

Rebecca Marston

BBC News Online

22 March 2013

Mark Williams, PA government finance and commercial expert, is quoted in an article on BBC Online. The article looks at how councils in England and Wales can respond to Government orders to cut spending by more than a quarter between 2011 and 2015 and examines how, although councils may be cash strapped, they are not asset poor.

The article explains how a government mapping exercise revealed that 370 councils have collective assets, such as buildings and land, of 250bn. PA, who has been working with some councils, believes that these councils could have twice that amount “sitting in the attic”. Mark comments on other types of assets councils own: "Airports, football clubs, shopping centres, pubs and restaurants - even bunny parks.”

Mark highlights the extent of these council assets: "There's work still to be done to evaluate these, but we are talking big, big numbers. Perhaps £500bn in total, perhaps even more once heritage and infrastructure assets are included."

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