Lincolnshire County Council owns more than 100 farms which could be sold off to provide funds for frontline services and keep taxes low new research has found.
A report from the TaxPayers’ Alliance today says that councils up and down the country are hoarding assets despite constant complaints of budget cut backs and restructuring of frontline services, for example the library service in Lincolnshire.
Lincolnshire County Council owns more farms than almost any other authority in the UK, 105 in total, assets Jonathan Isaby, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, should think about selling off.
He said: “It looks deeply hypocritical for councils to plead poverty as an excuse for hiking Council Tax when they’ve got such a huge asset portfolio.
“Local authorities should be focussed on essential services. The time has come for a serious discussion on what councils should, and should not, be doing - a drastic rethink which saw many of these assets returned to the private sector where some of them clearly belong would be a dramatic step towards a balanced budget and protecting taxpayers.”
The new report says Lincolnshire County Council owns two golf courses while East Lindsey District Council owns one golf course plus a pub and 16 shops.
North Kesteven District Council only owns one shop but does own two factories as does South Kesteven District Council.
South Holland District Council owns three shops, an auction hall and a number of industrial properties while West Lindsey District Council owns nine shops and Boston Borough Council two farms.
But Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill responded saying the research was “shoddy and incorrect” and that the authority did not own any golf courses.
What do you think? Should council asset portfolios be sold off to pay for frontline services and keep taxes low or are they better kept as revenue streams?