NEWS / Press Releases / Councils sitting on £443 million as local infrastructure suffers

PR

24 OCT 2018

COUNCILS SITTING ON £443 MILLION AS LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE SUFFERS

ACE analysis reveals councils not spending levy on property development

New analysis by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE) reveals that two fifths (40%) of the receipts from a levy on property developers meant for local infrastructure improvements remains unspent by councils in England and Wales.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was introduced in 2010 to help local councils secure the revenue needed to meet the impact of new property developments – for example improving local transport links or helping to build new schools or GP surgeries.

Freedom of information requests undertaken by ACE – the leading business association representing professional consultancies and engineering companies operating in the social, economic and commercial infrastructure sectors – show that despite raising more than £1.1 billion for councils across England and Wales between 2014 and July 2018, £443 million remains unspent and is currently sitting in council bank accounts.

The research also shows that across the board, take-up of the levy remains poor, with only 43% of councils in England and Wales (148 out of 348) choosing to implement it.

Commenting on the findings, ACE chief executive, Hannah Vickers, said: “While councils are deciding not to implement the levy, or sitting on the funds raised, local infrastructure is bearing the brunt of increased strain whenever new homes or retail developments are green-lit. This means more cars on our local roads, more pupils in our crowded schools and longer waiting lists at the GP. Given the current financial demands on councils this is surprising state of affairs.

“It’s clear that the original intention of the levy as a means of fairly raising money for supporting infrastructure is failing. The upcoming Budget is an opportunity for the government to address this imbalance and put in place a system which is simple and transparent. At the moment the system is failing old and new residents alike.”

The report, Scrapping the Levy also highlights a number of regional disparities. More than half (56%) of unspent CIL is with councils in Greater London, while Birmingham and Newcastle have, to date, not spent any of the collected levy.

City:

Total collected:

Total unspent:

Total unspent as a %

Birmingham

£1,630,600.74

£1,630,600.74

100%

Bristol

£10,991,087.45

£5,229,212.01

48%

Greater London

£340,820,512.21

£247,859,338.54

73%

Greater Manchester

£2,193,004.23

£2,082,614.96

95%

Newcastle

£309,845.00

£309,845.00

100%

Norwich

£2,513,778.00

£535,305.00

21%

Oxford

£5,721,119.00

£3,161,795.00

55%

Plymouth

£9,104,045.43

£10,443,827.14

114%

Portsmouth

£10,121,319.00

£8,270,180.00

82%

Southampton

£11,312,621.09

£3,502,669.00

31%


ENDS

Please note that following the report's release a number of councils got in touch to clarify some of the figures we published which led to us re-examine all of the data we collected via Freedom of Information requests. This exercise raised some anomalies which led us to review and modify our spreadsheet, notably clarifying issues around cumulative and year-on-year totals. The report, press release and news item on our site have now all been updated with the correct figures.

James Ketchell

James Ketchell

Communications Manager

James manages press relations for ACE. Out of office hours: 07850 374 815.

email0207 202 0257
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Scrapping the Levy

October 2018

ACE analysis into CIL spending by local councils in England and Wales.