Falkirk Council's housing stock rises in value by £85m in five years

The value of Falkirk Council’s housing stock rose by £85 million over the last five years.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 7:00 am
Falkirk Council logo.

The change was highlighted in the council’s annual audit report, after it was picked up in a draft valuation report. By law, the council must have its property adjusted every five years but ideally auditors want it done more often so that the value of assets are kept up-to-date.

However, the council’s director of finance Bryan Smail said that valuing properties was expensive and it was important to strike a balance. Councillor Allan Nimmo asked why such a large sum had not been picked earlier.

Mr Smail said in the context of the council’s 14,000 council houses the figure was not actually that large and having the valuation done brought very little benefit.

He said: “The issue of valuation is one where we have regular dialogue and debate with our auditors.

“We want to adhere to and comply with their position but we have to balance that with recognition that valuation is a specialist area.

“You either do it in-house – and we are very thin on resources in-house – or you have to go outside and pay either the district valuer or a commercial firm to do that.

“That obviously costs public money which we are very sensitive about.”

“If you think we’ve got something like 14,000 council houses and multiply that by a typical value gets you a very large figure.”

Auditors said the change had been picked up early which meant there had been no financial mis-statement.