Making the most of local authority assets
Think tank: Centre for London
Author(s): Josh Cottell; Jon Tabbush
September 20, 2022
This report from UK think tank the Centre for London looks at how local authorities could use their money and property to deliver social value to their residents.
Local authorities in London are responsible for managing valuable resources. This report shows how they could use their money and property to deliver social value to their residents. London’s councils own one-fifth of the land in the city, manage pensions worth £48 billion, and spent almost £13 billion on procurement in 2019. These assets already provide huge value to the city. Some local authorities are investigating how they could use them to have an even bigger impact on their local economy and society. We call these policies collectively “community asset approaches”, and in this report we investigate how a local authority can apply them when buying goods and services, managing their property, and how they apply to Local Government Pension Schemes. The aims of local authorities in applying these approaches vary widely depending on local priorities, but commonly aim to increase “social value,” or outcomes that improve economic, social and environmental wellbeing. We found that local authorities benefit from defining local priorities in conversation with local partners and residents and joining up with other local authorities and large institutions to build on what’s worked well elsewhere.