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The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 27 July, 2015

Report of the Leader

Jones Lang LaSalle Asset Management Review

Purpose of the Report

1.    To present Cabinet with the Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) Asset Management Review report and to seek approval to progress with certain recommendations selected from the list of Priority Actions contained within the JLL report.

Recommendations

1.    That Cabinet note the contents of this report and the report of Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL report) contained in Appendix A.

 

2.    That delegated authority is given to the Head of Finance in consultation with the Leader to relinquish the lease of Provincial House when the contractual term ends in November 2016, subject to a separate report being presented to Cabinet outlining detailed proposals for the relocation of staff in due course.

 

3.    That delegated authority is given to the Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Regeneration to consider the options for the future use of the BSC building, with a further report outlining these options being presented to Cabinet in due course.

 

4.    That information contained in the JLL report is provided to the Reshaping Services Town and Community Councils Project Team to assist them in considering options for alternative models of service delivery, including potential community asset transfers.

 

5.    That delegated authority is given to the Head of Children's Services and Director of Learning and Skills in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Adult Services and Children Services and Schools to consider options for the Youth and Community Learning Service in Llantwit Major within the nearby Family Centre, subject to a further report being presented to Cabinet in due course.

 

6.    That delegated authority is given to the Director of Visible Services and Housing in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Visible Services and Leisure  to review options for the future of South Lodge at Windsor Gardens in Penarth, subject to a further report outlining these options being presented to Cabinet in due course.

 

7.    That delegated authority is given to the Head of Finance in consultation with the Leader to consider options for the residual smallholdings estate, and to report any recommendations to Cabinet in due course.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1-7: To satisfy Objective B1 of the Corporate Asset Management Plan 2012-13 Action Plan (Cabinet minute C1833 refers) and to further work being undertaken as part of the Invest-to-Save loan.

Background

2.    In response to increasing budget pressures the Council is undertaking a review of key asset classes (not previously reviewed) and is seeking opportunities to optimise the remainder of its portfolio. Having already undertaken exhaustive service area reviews of Education, Social Services and Housing assets this review focusses on the remaining operational portfolio. In order to expedite this, the Council applied for and was successful in its bid for a Welsh Government Invest-to-Save loan.

 

3.    In accordance with the conditions of the loan, and following a tender exercise via the Welsh Government’s procurement portal Sell2Wales, the Council then appointed international property consultants JLL to undertake a strategic asset review with the aim being to: assist with maximising the use of its property assets; dispose of surplus assets wherever possible; realise efficiency savings; and in the longer term to improve collaboration with other public sector partners.

 

4.    JLL have now presented a final report to the Estates Team and has now been reviewed by the Corporate Management Team.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.    In the opinion of JLL the Estates Team is “well organised…  Their knowledge of the estate and the accompanying property systems is robust and in our experience, better than many comparable public sector organisations”.

 

6.    In addition, JLL state in their conclusions that they were pleased to note that “the Estates team operate a lean and efficient department and have good property management systems and tools at their disposal.  There is little to say from an asset management point of view”.

 

7.    The JLL report is structured by different asset types/classes and provides an evaluation of the current position, in addition to identifying a series of proposed actions for the Council's consideration. The proposed actions outlined in the JLL report have been reviewed and it is recommended that the following actions are progressed at this time and in the following ways:

 

8.    Priority Action 1 Offices: Subject to the availability of alternative accommodation we would recommend that the Council does not renew the lease on Provincial House

 

9.    In response to this the Council has already commenced, via the SPACE project, a review of current office space requirements with a view to identifying appropriate alternative accommodation within Civic Offices for staff currently located in Provincial House. Work is also underway to identify potential future locations for the Open Learning Centre. This project forms part of the Reshaping Services Programme (Property Projects) and will continue to be reported via the related programme governance arrangements.

 

10.    Priority Action 2 Enterprise Units: Consider undertaking a review of the occupation of the BSC building, the Waterfront, Barry to establish whether additional income opportunities exist.

 

11.    In response to this, officers are now looking at opportunities for furthering income producing opportunities at the BSC building. This work will be progressed as part of the Effectiveness of Spend (Economic Development) project which forms part of the Reshaping Services programme and will continue to be reported via the related programme governance arrangements.

 

12.    Priority Action 3 Community (General): Consider options for transferring assets to Town/Community Councils or the third sector under possible Community Asset Transfer.

 

13.    In response to this, the Council is looking at various options for alternative service delivery options via the Reshaping Services programme. In addition to Town and Community Councils and the third sector, the Council is considering other vehicles for service delivery such as community/social enterprises etc. Developments in this area (in addition to any specific proposals) will continue to be reported via the related Reshaping Services programme governance arrangements.

 

14.    Priority Action 4 Community (Social Need): Circumstances permitting, we recommend that consideration be given to the future management arrangements for the Youth and Community Learning Service in Llantwit Major including the nearby Family Centre.

 

15.    In response to this, discussions are taking place with the aim of considering options for future management arrangements and use of the property assets as a result and a report on the outcomes and proposals for these assets will be brought to Cabinet in due course.

 

16.    Priority Action 11 Other: it is recommended that the Council consider options for the use of South Lodge, Windsor Gardens, Penarth.

 

17.    In response to this, it is proposed that discussions will commence with the Director of Visible Services and Housing at the earliest opportunity in order to identify potential opportunities for this asset. A report on the outcomes and proposals for this asset will be brought to Cabinet in due course.

 

18.    The Council owns a small residual smallholdings estate consisting of 3 farms and additional grazing/agricultural land (following the sale of the majority of the Councils smallholdings during 1998/9).  Whilst this element of the portfolio was not part of the JLL brief, it is recommended that a review of options for this asset classification is also undertaken with a report on proposals being brought to Cabinet in due course.

 

19.    As stated, the above priority actions identified by JLL are proposed to be progressed at this time. There were other priority actions highlighted by JLL which, following careful consideration, do not form part of the recommendations in this report.  For example, JLL suggested that the Council consider disposing of its shops portfolio.  This was not considered a Council priority as it is viewed that the shops serve an important purpose in local communities and economies.  Additionally, a large proportion of the shops are located in coastal seaside locations and the view is that they provide a valuable service to local residents and visitors to the area and as a result should be retained by the Council, particularly for regeneration/economic development purposes.  The JLL report also recommends that the Council looks at its car park charging policy. ,This work in already underway and is the subject of specific proposals. As such it was not considered necessary to take this action forward as a part of this report.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

20.    As property rationalisation continues, further opportunities will arise in making better use of the Council's remaining property portfolio. Adopting the above recommendations may result in disposal opportunities, Community Asset Transfer opportunities and further rationalisation of Council buildings. It may also provide opportunities to share accommodation with other public sector organisations thereby providing potential savings for the Council. Further reports to Cabinet (as described above) will be brought to outline the specific resource implications associated with these opportunities.

 

21.    Where it is proposed that any actions that would deliver savings be progressed, these will contribute to the Property Projects savings target included in the Reshaping Services programme.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

22.    Pursuing the recommendations will contribute to improving energy efficiency and ensuring that the Council improves its Sustainability. When considering any disposal (or change in asset use) the longer term impacts of the decision are taken into account in order that decisions are as sustainable as possible in both the short and longer terms.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

23.    Any properties which may become surplus under this process will be disposed of in accordance with S123 of the Local Government Act 1972 and also in accordance with the Councils Disposal Strategy and Community Asset Transfer Protocol.

Crime and Disorder Implications

24.    None as a direct result of this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

25.    None as a direct result of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

26.    Pursuant to CL11 of the Corporate Plan 2013-2017 and Corporate Asset Management Plan 2012-13 and Draft Corporate Asset Management Plan 2015-18 (which is also being considered on today's agenda).

Policy Framework and Budget

27.    This is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

28.    Consultation has been undertaken with CMT and officers from within the Business Improvement Team.  As the recommendations are general at this stage, no specific ward member consultation has been under taken at this stage.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

29.    Corporate Resources

Background Papers

Jones Lang LaSalle Asset Management Review

Contact Officer

Lorna Cross, Strategic Estates Manager

Officers Consulted

Corporate Management Team

Business Improvement Manager

Responsible Officer:

Alan Jenkins, Head of Finance