I see Eric Pickles went to the same school of economics as Gordon Brown, when it comes to protecting the long term finances of local government. Rather than commending councils for making wise investments, that deliver a long term return, Pickles wants councils to flog them off, to pay for the front line services he continues to strip of funding.
Gordon Brown did they same thing when he had the keys to the Treasury and sold off the country’s gold assets for peanuts, to pay for the Labour government’s spending spree.
As the list in today’s Daily Telegraph seems to suggest, most councils are holding assets that deliver a return for their taxpayers, so selling them off would be a one off win – once it’s gone, it’s gone. This is in stark contrast to central government that it is reported owns vast areas of land and many empty buildings, doing nothing and making no return for the taxpayer.
Put your own central government house in order Mr Pickles, before you start telling local government how to do things.