Magazine article Public Finance

Healey Tells Town Halls to Be More Commercial

Magazine article Public Finance

Healey Tells Town Halls to Be More Commercial

Article excerpt

John Healey has hit back at local government leaders for complaining about the recent Comprehensive Spending Review settlement, saying councils must be more commercial and not look to the government for handouts.

The local government minister told a conference on November 1, hosted by the New Local Government Network that authorities must boost their finances by exploiting their powers to sell their services. The sector received a CSR settlement of a 1% average real-terms increase per year.

Healey cited research by Birmingham University, which has found that just one in four councils had any plans to generate profits that could be ploughed back into services or used to hold down council tax.

'When businesses need to balance their books they look for innovative ways of increasing trade and sales... councils can and should be exploiting their expertise and market potential to provide a better offer to their constituents,' Healey said. …

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