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Glasgow council could sell off its ‘substantial’ assets to balance books

Glasgow City Council has approved a ‘Property and Land Strategy’ which could see much of its substantial portfolio of property, community and land assets sold off or transferred into community ownership.

The council has more than 1,000 operational properties, including schools and nurseries, care homes, offices, community and sports centres, museums, galleries and libraries, as well as surplus property and land.

However, it was revealed by the Glasgow Evening Times last week that the council is facing a spending gap of over £50m this year, with a range of cost-cutting measures, including the closure of community assets, being considered.

Last month New Start revealed the authority is considering moving some of its council offices from the city centre to key regeneration areas across the city, as part of the new strategy which will act ‘as a catalyst for the social and economic regeneration of local communities.’

Cllr Kenny McLean, city convener for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm at Glasgow City Council, said the council’s assets need to be used more ‘efficiently and effectively’.

‘The council will also have reduced costs in the years ahead, as well as the ability to raise capital receipts to help deliver improved public services in the city,’ he said.

‘The proper location of these services will aid the regeneration of neighbourhoods throughout Glasgow, and deliver real, inclusive economic growth.’

In a statement, the council says there are five key objectives as part of the strategy

  • A more efficient, sustainable, smaller, and better quality estate;
  • An agile estate capable of meeting current and future service delivery needs;
  • Collaborating and co-locating with community planning partners, third sector organisations and city region partners;
  • Achieving cost reductions, increasing income and generating capital receipts; and
  • Embracing digital and technological innovation to reduce reliance on and improve the performance of the estate.

They also say they will work with local communities to take over the ownership and management of community assets through Community Asset Transfer.

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