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Ghostly

The Councils trying to save the High Street....

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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46625912

BBC reporting on Councils being 'savvy investors' and trying to 'save the high street'. Of course, what they are trying to do is generate some income through low funding rates and rent. They don't have the slightest idea what they are doing and buying into a sector in terminal decline. Far from being a benevolent action they are most likely trying to save something else, like their pensions maybe?

Which Council will be the first to go bust from exposure to commercial property?

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Quite the opposite in Rochdale, rates/rents are that high that the only shops left are leeches of society - payday loans/bookies (with arcade casino machines), pawn shops and pound shops. I prefer going into Hebden Bridge to "shop" as it feels untouched.

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My local authority (Wokingham) has forecasted debt to hit 600m by 2020, up from 273m in April 2018. That said they are redeveloping pretty much the entire town including new leisure facilities. 

Still, it's a lorra munners.

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The council in Bath have been doing this for years. They typically buy up any shop thats serving the cheap end of the market, do it up and rent it to a more upmarket seller which they see as more "fitting" for the town.

In one case (The Roman Baths Kitchen) the council ran the business at a a loss for a couple of years before giving up and getting another firm, Searcys to provide the catering.

Business Strategy 2016-2021.


To achieve the business targets above, it will be necessary to continue the strategy
contained in the Heritage Services Business Plan 2015-2020. This will mean:
- Keeping Roman Baths visitor numbers at unprecedentedly high levels;
- Keeping admission charges amongst the highest in the country;
- Sustaining staffing and investment to improve visitor satisfaction and support large          
price increases; 
- Generating an extra profit of £600k next year, and an extra profit of £250k p.a                     
in each subsequent year.

This may be summarised as ‘the five highs’:
- High volume
- High price
- High yield
- High investment
- High risk .

https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/documents/g4193/Public reports pack 10th-Feb-2016 18.00 Cabinet.pdf?T=10

What could go wrong?

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3 hours ago, Ghostly said:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46625912

BBC reporting on Councils being 'savvy investors' and trying to 'save the high street'. Of course, what they are trying to do is generate some income through low funding rates and rent. They don't have the slightest idea what they are doing and buying into a sector in terminal decline. Far from being a benevolent action they are most likely trying to save something else, like their pensions maybe?

Which Council will be the first to go bust from exposure to commercial property?

Good luck to them.....if they can buy up good property, right places at the bottom and borrow at v low rates of interest, they are only doing what private cos do......hopefully councils are in it for the long-term, not out to make a fast buck......will always a demand for homes... shops on your doorstep, doctors, gym, library, jobs, clubs etc.....recycle the money locally, what is there not to like?;)

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I never thought of this but buying high street units fits perfectly (for local Councillors).

If it makes the council money = Great investment by a savvy and innovative local council.

If their borrow at 4%, rent at 10% carry trade fails they can paint it as some kind of philanthropic gesture. "helping local businesses" or something like that. 

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1 hour ago, Council estate capitalist said:

I never thought of this but buying high street units fits perfectly (for local Councillors).

If it makes the council money = Great investment by a savvy and innovative local council.

If their borrow at 4%, rent at 10% carry trade fails they can paint it as some kind of philanthropic gesture. "helping local businesses" or something like that. 

Big IF

More likely to end end borrowing at 6%, voiding for 10+ years.

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1 hour ago, winkie said:

 what is there not to like?;)

Well I imagine someone running a restaurant and paying thousands of pounds a month in rates wont be too happy about a council run, loss-making restaurant opening up next door and taking their trade.

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20 minutes ago, Habeas Domus said:

Well I imagine someone running a restaurant and paying thousands of pounds a month in rates wont be too happy about a council run, loss-making restaurant opening up next door and taking their trade.

Councils don't do restaurants....they will rent to someone preferably a local business person to run.....rates should, all being equal the same for all businesses....hopefully rents to be very competitive thus allowing a business to be viable longer-term, enough to support a family and buy/rent a home......many business only last five minutes because the outgoings work out to be far higher than income......zombies.....high street zombies.;)

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9 minutes ago, Habeas Domus said:

Well I imagine someone running a restaurant and paying thousands of pounds a month in rates wont be too happy about a council run, loss-making restaurant opening up next door and taking their trade.

My local council genuinely wanted to give out grant money to fully refurbish/run an empty pub on the corner of 2 roads that had 6 pubs already on them. 

The councillors pet project was soon abandoned when someone publicized this anti competitive waste of tax payers money. 

21 minutes ago, spyguy said:

Big IF

More likely to end end borrowing at 6%, voiding for 10+ years.

Absolutely, I trust the councils to pick the worst dross put in front of them by agents who can't find any other mug to buy them. Empty BHS's riddled with asbestos and the like. 

The next council over from me (Shropshire) have just bought 3 rubbish shopping centres in Shrewsbury for £52 million. I went round one and it's mostly empty or full of short term occupiers (nail bars, charity shops) probably on nil rents. 

The councils genius plan is to demolish one of them to turn it into a "vibrant mixed use destination", They were going to move their headquarters there but have instead decided to spend £24 million doing up the existing gaff. 

 

 

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I think councils have left it over a decade too late. Anyhow, they lack the imagination, and as a result jump on a bandwagon that has past rather than looking to the future. For example, my council allowed far too much out of town retail park superstore stuff in early 00s, which not only decimated the town centre, but is now being made out of date itself by the internet, all in the space of 15 years! 

Their latest effort to revive the town centre is a "food festival". Basically, a load of stalls in the town centre for a couple of days, the same stalls that will move on to countless identical festivals in other identical town centres. 

 

 

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I would assume councils can grant planning permission and change of usage to their own advantage of need be. Whether that's fair or not depends on who you are I guess...not that too many hpc'ers will mind landlords losing out.

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16 hours ago, nothernsoul said:

I think councils have left it over a decade too late. Anyhow, they lack the imagination, and as a result jump on a bandwagon that has past rather than looking to the future. For example, my council allowed far too much out of town retail park superstore stuff in early 00s, which not only decimated the town centre, but is now being made out of date itself by the internet, all in the space of 15 years! 

Their latest effort to revive the town centre is a "food festival". Basically, a load of stalls in the town centre for a couple of days, the same stalls that will move on to countless identical festivals in other identical town centres. 

 

 

The reason out of town centres have done well is because they're better.

The only people who care about saving they high Street are people who can afford to care - ie the over 50s. Meanwhile families are raising their kids in shared houses but instead taxpayers money gets diverted to propping up brick a brack shops which should just get converted to housing.

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3 minutes ago, maverick73 said:

The high street is dead.... they power of the internet... 

yes but all the old people want the young people to subsidise their obsolete expensive shopping practices - no reason, just that they (currently) have the democratic power

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  • 295 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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