Islington Council to wind up its commercial arm after nine years

Islington Town Hall. Photograph: Islington Citizen

Town Hall bosses are likely to close the council’s commercial company – nine years after it was set up.

Islington Ltd, trading as iCo, was set up “to generate income through commercial activity and to enable the council to trade”.

However, it has been a victim of austerity and the council said there are fewer opportunities to trade, while costs have risen significantly.

It only generates income now through its pest control team and memorials at Islington and Camden cemeteries.

Last year, it earned £406,000 from memorials and £38,000 from pest control.

Other services include human resources and tree and waste services.

The company has generated an average gross turnover of £842,000 a year between 2018 and 2021. It has made an accumulated profit of £150,000 since it was set up in 2014.

Demand for services has been in decline, apart from memorials, according to a report for the executive of senior politicians.

It also has a 10 per cent stake in a traffic enforcement company and plans to sell those shares.

Senior officers think the services offered by iCo could be delivered differently.

Some council departments are already involved in generating income, such as the wedding and film services.

The firm does not employ any staff because officers work on iCo projects alongside their council roles.

The number of directors has dwindled from six to just one.

Additional directors will need to be appointed for board meetings to prepare for voluntary liquidation and filing final reports to Companies House, if the executive agrees to the move on Thursday.