Radical plans to raise £20 million by selling off at least nine community buildings - including Fulham Town Hall and the Irish Centre - have been revealed by Hammersmith and Fulham Council.
The authority plans to put up 'for sale' signs on some of the most significant properties on its list of assets, including Palingswick House, home to 21 voluntary sector groups, and smaller sites like Sands End Community Centre and the Greswell Street Centre in Fulham, which houses Hammersmith and Fulham Action on Disability.
Also on the disposal list are the Askham Centre, which houses children's services; a vacant site in Distillery Lane, Hammersmith; a building currently housing the Nubian Life charity in Commonwealth Avenue, White City; and a site in Bulwer Street, Shepherd's Bush, which is home to three charities.
Hammersmith Library in Shepherd's Bush Road is also set to be relocated, with the current site used to expand neighbouring Sacred Heart School, and the council is planning to discontinue leases on council offices at Cambridge House and Barclay House and at the Broadway Information Centre.
The unprecedented move comes as the authority looks for ways to save £55million from its budget over the next three years. It is hoped the sales will slash the borough's £133 million deficit and free up an extra £2.5 million each year to spend on frontline services.
The sale of Palingswick House in King Street will prove controversial with groups currently housed there, who are campaigning for the historic building to be retained for voluntary services.
A council spokesman said no attempt will be made to retain any of the buildings for community use, and that they will instead be marketed to attract the highest bidder. A public consultation on the plans was launched today and will run for 12 weeks before any bids are sought from developers or other interested parties.
Council leader Stephen Greenhalgh said: "All indications are that wewill have to have to reduce our spending by around £55 million over the next three years.
"We have stated publicly that our focus will be on selling our assets to protect services. We have to put people before buildings and safeguard as much of our budget as possible for voluntary sector grants, child protection and services to the elderly."
Talks are already under way to see if the Irish government will buy the Irish Centre in Blacks Road, Hammersmith, in order to retain it as a focus for the borough's Irish community.
Groups which currently use Palingswick House and other buildings up for sale may be offered new homes in two new community hubs, on the Edward Woods Estate in Shepherd's Bush and on the North Fulham New Deal for Communities site in Dawes Road, Fulham.
At a council meeting last night, Bruce Marquart, a member of the tenants' advisory group at Palingswick House, questioned if it was worth the tenants presenting their arguments in a consultation, or whether 'everybody's minds have already been made up'.
He said: "We would like to make the case that there's a need for a hub in the central area of Hammersmith and Fulham, and we will be glad to participate in the consultation."
The council also revealed its first round of voluntary sector grants for this year, totalling £4.4m - some £158,000 less than last year. Some voluntary groups face significant cuts in funding, while 16 will receive financial support for the first time.