English councils poised to make cuts amid loss of commercial income

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Exclusive: jobs and services at risk as investments such as airports and property hit by lockdown measures

English local councils are set to shed thousands of jobs and cut services as they count the cost of lost income from multibillion-pound holdings in office blocks, retail parks, airports and cinemas, all badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

The commercial investments, many acquired in a £7.6bn property spending spree in England over the past four years, were part of councils’ effort to find alternative incomes and protect local services that faced cuts or closure during a decade of deep austerity cuts.

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