Brent Council has defended the sale of public land worth almost £30 million as local authorities across the country look to maintain dwindling funds.

Research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) found that the council sold off 13 public spaces – including the former Brent town hall – between 2015 and 2018.

This generated millions of pounds for the council’s coffers, though some have questioned the wisdom of selling off assets that could be useful in the future.

But Cllr Margaret McLennan, deputy leader of Brent Council, explained that a thorough assessment is carried out before sales are put through.

She said: “The council takes into account a number of factors when deciding whether to keep land or buildings.

“Each decision is considered on a case by case basis depending on the type of assets or buildings involved and the reasons for no longer needing them.

“As guardians of public money, we always act in the interests of the community when making our decisions.”

Several councils have spoken about the need for short-term cash injections as they battle against decreasing funding and increasing demand for services.

Tom Watson, deputy leader of the Labour Party, told TBIJ that such action can be a “false economy that leaves communities poorer” as he blamed the Government’s austerity policies.

Brent Council recently passed its 2019/20 budget, which includes almost £10 million worth of cuts and a council tax increase of almost five per cent.

Cllr McLennan explained that she did not enter local government to make cuts, but that this is the reality the council is facing.