South Kesteven District Council’s cabinet has agreed in principle to the creation of a council controlled company, which would enable the trade and procurement of services within the private sector.
Under the Localism Act 2011, councils must set up a local authority controlled company (LACC) if they wish to trade commercially. Other councils have already established similar incorporated companies, and now SKDC is looking to do the same, with a focus on housing services.
A report put forward by SKDC’s strategic director Tracey Blackwell to cabinet members stated: “The creation of a Local Authority Controlled Company (LACC) would provide the council with the opportunity to deliver services through a separate trading organisation, with the initial focus being to develop, acquire and manage housing and commercial property in the private sector.”
The report then lists expected benefits to SKDC from establishing the LACC, stating that it will: “Have a positive effect on the availability of good quality private rented housing in the district, bring forward the development of sites that might be more challenging for the private sector, create the conditions to develop a commercial environment that will permit the generation of new and increasing income streams in the future, and create a new property asset base which will increase in value over time.”
The report also stated that the cost of setting up the company, accounting and other specialist advice will not exceed £30,000, and refers to the scheme as a response to known future reductions in revenue support grants from central government.
A spokesman for SKDC said that the exact details are being finalised by working groups over the summer. They are due to report back to cabinet in September or October, before going to full council.