Councils’ ability to generate income by selling off assets remains modest as official data revealed English local authorities raised £1.5bn in capital receipts over the last financial year.
Councils collected capital receipts worth £1.498bn in 2011-12, a marginal improvement on the £1.427bn collected the year before, according to data published by the Department for Communities & Local Government.
Despite the marginal improvement, it does not compare well with previous years.
In 2003-04, the first financial year included in the DCLG data release, capital receipts were £5.32bn and have been in decline since (see table).
|Capital receipts (£m)||3,671||3,992||1,353||1,427||1,498|
The data release said capital expenditure by local authorities in England rose to £23.1bn in 2010-11, a year-on-year increase of 8%.
However, this was largely due to the Greater London Authority’s expenditure via TfL. If the GLA’s expenditure were excluded from the England totals, capital expenditure was virtually unchanged from 2009-10.
Capital expenditure has risen by nearly 42% in the last four years, 28% in real terms but the capital funding is being slashed over the next four years with many experts concerned about how public projects will be financed.