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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet 30th July 2012

 

Report of the Leader

 

Space Project

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To provide Cabinet with an update on the progress of the Council’s Space Project.

2.             To request authorisation to re-locate Housing Services from the Civic Offices to the Alps Depot (with the exception of a residual group of specialist customer-facing staff).

Recommendations

1.             That as a first step in enabling the Authority to dispose of surplus office accommodation, staff in Housing are relocated from the Civic Offices to the Alps Depot.

2.             That a report be brought to Cabinet to consider the options for future use of corporate office accommodation in the autumn of 2012.

 

Reasons for the Recommendations

1-2   To allow the Council to make better use of its corporate office accommodation and meet the objectives of the Council’s “Space Project”.

 

Background

3.             In June 2010 the OneVale Programme Board approved a project proposal to examine the Council’s current and future use of office accommodation at the Alps Depot, Civic Offices, Contact OneVale, Docks Office, Haydock House and Provincial House. This project is called the Space Project. 

4.             The Space Project is tasked with delivering benefits in the following ways:

·               Cost Reduction – through the disposal of buildings.

·               Fit for Purpose Offices – to better meet the needs of services.

·               Reduced Carbon Emissions – through occupying fewer buildings and making better use of technology.

·               Highly Visible Efficiency – demonstrating efficiencies to staff and the public.

·               Service Efficiencies – efficiencies through co-locating services.

 

5.             In order for the Council to realise the benefits associated with the Space Project, working practices will change to reflect the amount of office accommodation available and the ways in which services are delivered most efficiently and effectively for the customer.

6.             To support new working practices, and as an aid to realise the benefits of the Space Project, the Smarter Working Policy was developed. The policy, endorsed by Cabinet in January 2012 provides a framework for managers and staff to work within to support new working practices (hot-desking, home working and mobile working).

7.             As the first step of the Space Project, analysis of the Council’s six corporate office buildings was undertaken. Profiles of each of the buildings were produced, covering occupation, utilisation of space, property condition, facilities, running costs and environmental impact.

8.             A period of consultation on possible options with the Corporate Asset Management Group, Sustainability Development Working Group, Heads of Service and CMT has recently ended. In light of the feedback received and taking into account a new project driver – to co-locate new directorates formed as part of the management restructure, a range of options is being developed.

9.             The options are being formed, taking into consideration the current economic climate and saleability of buildings now and in the future.

 

Relevant Issues and Options

10.        There are various options being drawn up and each is based on different assumptions and would deliver different results. The options range from short-term space consolidation options which could be completed quickly, to longer term options with greater savings but requiring a higher level of up-front investment.

11.        A number of features are common to all options. The first feature is that Haydock House, the smallest corporate office building, and the only building in poor condition should be disposed of. Children and Young People Services, the sole occupiers of the building, would be relocated to an alternative corporate office building.

12.        Disposal of Haydock House as surplus to requirements and the relocation of 97 occupants will result in revenue savings based on the annual running cost of the building in 2011/12 and would avoid future maintenance costs arising as a result of the building’s poor condition.

13.        In order to release space to allow the disposal of a building all options require that Housing Services should re-locate to vacant space at the Alps Depot. This move would see Housing co-located to the rest of the new Visible Services and Housing directorate already based at the Alps. Leaving vacant space within Civic Offices, this move is the key enabler to the disposal of Haydock House.

14.        Housing would retain a residual advice service for the public in Barry, with approximately nine staff maintaining a base at Civic Offices. 

15.        A further report will be submitted to Cabinet in autumn 2012 which will provide a range of options on the location of Children & Young People Services and other service areas within the Council’s corporate offices as a further phase of the Space Project.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

16.        The cost of moving Housing from the Civic Offices to the Alps Depot is estimated at £11,000 based on the cost of previous office accommodation moves.

17.        Revenue savings of approximately £90,000 would be generated from the disposal of Haydock House.

18.        The project would be delivered with existing internal staffing resources and managed by Property Services in conjunction with Housing Services

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

19.        This proposal contributes towards the Space project’s objectives, one of which is to reduce carbon emissions – through occupying fewer buildings and making better use of technology

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

20.        There are no direct legal implications arising from the Space Project

Crime and Disorder Implications

21.        There are no specific Crime and Disorder implications associated with this report

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

22.        There are no specific Equal Opportunities implications associated with this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

23.        The project aligns with the following corporate objectives:

·               CI033 – To make best use of our assets and to procure good, sustainable services and facilities.

·               CI034 – To deliver OneVale, the Council’s transformational change programme and to put ICT to its most effective use in order to support service delivery.

 

Policy Framework and Budget

24.        The Policy is a matter for executive decision by the Council’s Cabinet

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

25.        There are no implications for Ward Members as a result of this report.

26.        Trade Unions have been consulted on the proposals.

 

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

27.        Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

Smarter Working Policy

 

Contact Officer

Jane Wade.

 

Officers Consulted

CMT.

Operational Manager – Property Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Sian Davies.

 

Director of Finance ICT and Property

 

 

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