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Council capital receipts remain modest

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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)3,6713,9921,3531,4271,498

Source DCLG

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.

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