Surrey County Council comes in at No 3 in our Top of the Shops spending spree chart.
The scale of these casino investments is eye-watering!
This is the story with all the recent data:
The public overwhelmingly believes councils should provide greater transparency on property investments, a survey by YouGov shared exclusively with the Bureau has found. Our investigation reveals some of the smallest local authorities in England have amassed debts the equivalent of more than ten times their spending power to buy commercial property such as shopping centres, supermarkets and business parks. The number of councils investing in real estate to generate revenue has doubled in the past two years.
Councils say the deals are low risk and bring in extra revenue to replace funding cut by central government. However, some experts have warned borrowing to fund the purchases ties the future of vital public services to the uncertainty of the property market.