Crawley Borough Council owns 11 pub premises

jpco-21-3-12 LB1 in Three Bridges, one of 11 pub premises owned by Crawley Borough Council (Pic by Jon Rigby) ENGSUS00120120320093142
jpco-21-3-12 LB1 in Three Bridges, one of 11 pub premises owned by Crawley Borough Council (Pic by Jon Rigby) ENGSUS00120120320093142
  • Crawley Borough Council currently leases out 11 premises it owns to pubs
  • Majority are in neighbourhood parades alongside shops that council also owns
  • Figures published after Taxpayers’ Alliance Report into council assets across country

Crawley Borough Council owns the premises of 11 pubs according to figures released this week.

Pubs include The Windmill in Gossops Green, The Tilgate, the Charcoal Burner in Furnace Green, and the White Knight in Pound Hill.

Most are located in neighbourhood parades alongside retail units that the authority also owns.

The figure came to light after the Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) published a report looking at assets owned by local authorities across the country.

A spokesperson for the council said: “Crawley Borough Council has 693 assets which generate almost £5m gross income each year.

“This money goes towards the services provided by the borough council.

“As the Taxpayers’ Alliance is fully aware, councils are prevented from using the proceeds from the sale of assets to pay for day-to-day services.

“Instead, we invest in our commercial property to provide income to help fund our services and make no apology for doing so.

“In the past year the council has invested in two buildings which are leased out – one a large office building, the other a restaurant, which provide a good rate of return, and will continue to look for similar opportunities.”

According to the TPA report as of April 2014 the borough council also owns a golf course, ten car parks, two swimming pools/leisure centre, three farms and 140 shops.

The farms are Willoughby Farm, Toovies Farm, and Langley Green Farm, but the council said they were fields used for agricultural/semi agricultural purposes, while Toovies Farm forms part of the Forge Wood land, and will be developed for housing in Phase 4.

The pubs are:

- LB1, Gales Drive, Three Bridges

- The Windmill, Gossops Parade, Gossops Green

- The Pelham Buckle, Ifield Drive, Ifield

- Doctor Samuel Johnson, Langley Parade, Langley Green

- Tavern on the Green, Peterhouse Parade, Pound Hill

- The Downsman, Wakehurst Drive, Southgate

- The Apple Tree, West Green Drive, West Green

- White Knight, Worth Road, Pound Hill

- The Tilgate, Ashdown Road, Tilgate

- The Black Dog, The Parade, Northgate

These are all on ground leases.

It also owns:

- The Charcoal Burner, Furnace Parade

- Smith & Western in Tilgate Park (used to be The Bluebird pub)

Both these are semi ground leases.

These pubs were built as part of the community hub for each neighbourhood to include shops, a community centre, and small light industrial/workshop premises.

Some of the more unusual assets owned by councils across the UK include a cheese factory, model railway, sawmill, pigeon loft, and a nightclub.

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: ”It looks deeply hypocritical for councils to plead poverty as an excuse for hiking Council Tax when they’ve got such a huge asset portfolio.

“Local authorities should be focussed on essential services.

“The time has come for a serious discussion on what councils should, and should not, be doing - a drastic rethink which saw many of these assets returned to the private sector where some of them clearly belong would be a dramatic step towards a balanced budget and protecting taxpayers.”

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