Asset Management Strategy 2009 – 2012
1 Asset Management
1.1 “Strategic asset management is the activity that seeks to align the asset base with
the organisation’s corporate goals and objectives. It ensures that the land and
buildings asset base of an organisation is optimally structured in the best corporate
interest of the organisation concerned.”
[Source of definition: RICS’s 2008 Public Sector Asset Management Guidelines]
1.2 There are many benefits for a local authority, both financial and non-financial, of
good asset management. Good asset management can:
• Deliver exceptional services for citizens, aligned with locally agreed priorities,
whilst focusing investment clearly on need;
• Empower communities and stimulate debate;
• Improve the economic well-being of an area;
• Ensure that, once built, assets are correctly maintained;
• Introduce new working practices and trigger cultural organisational changes;
• Reduce carbon emissions and improve environmental sustainability;
• Increase co-location, partnership working and sharing of knowledge;
• Improve the accessibility of services and ensure compliance with the Disability
Discrimination Act (DDA) 2005;
• Generate efficiency gains, capital receipts, or an income stream; and
• Improve the quality of the public realm.
[Source: Benefits of good asset management – Communities and Local Government
‘Building on Strong Foundations – A Framework for Local Authority Asset
1.3 The Council recognises that the property assets from which it delivers its services are
vital to the success of the organisation. Buildings designed and managed to meet
service requirements enhance service delivery, whilst the management and
maintenance of unsuitable or surplus properties wastes resources.
1.4 Influences from the Audit Commission reports on “Hot Property” and “Use of
Resources” and the introduction of Corporate Asset Management Planning and
Capital Strategies and the Communities and Local Government’s “Building on Strong
Foundations” set a national framework for Local Authority Asset Management.
1.5 Property, finance, staff and information technology are all elements of the overall
resources that the Council needs to employ in an effective and efficient way in order
to achieve their aims and objectives. Consequently, planning for the use of these
resources over the medium term needs to take place in an integrated way. This is
why the Asset Management Strategy has to be part of the overall resources plan or
be closely linked to, and consistent with, the Medium Term Financial Strategy, the
workforce development plan and the information technology strategy. Locally
produced strategies and plans also underpin asset management and include the
Community Strategy, Local Area Agreement, COMPACT Agreement, Corporate and
Service Plans, Procurement Strategy and the Local Development Framework. All of
these documents will influence and add value to the way the Council manages its
property assets for the benefit of local communities during the life of this strategy.
2 Purpose and Aims of the Asset Management Strategy
2.1 The Asset Management Strategy will ensure that the Council’s asset management
arrangements and the assets themselves make a positive contribution towards the
corporate objectives and service delivery of the Council.
2.2 The purpose of this three year strategy is to provide:
• The principles which guide asset management and service property planning;
• A link to the Council’s corporate plans and objectives;
• A framework to define the role and purpose of property as a support to service
• An effective vehicle for the delivery of asset management planning;
• A cohesive rationale for the ownership, occupation and management of the
Council’s property assets; and
• A framework for all existing property related policies, working practice guidance
notes and working parties.
2.3 The asset management strategy aims to:
• Ensure the most economic and efficient use of all property assets;
• Align the use of property resources to the Council’s corporate aims;
• Achieve best value for money from property management activities whether by
using capital or revenue resources or external funding;
• Develop sustainable and environmentally responsible property management by
ensuring long-term needs are not compromised by short-term considerations;
• Develop collaborative working arrangements with other public bodies in the
district/county in order to share best practice and explore common property
• Ensure the service is responsive to customer needs and changing service agenda;
• Provide built environments which are safe, accessible for all users and comply
with all relevant statutory requirements.
2.4 These strategic aims will be addressed in partnership with Service Areas by:
• Challenging property utilisation in relation to fitness for purpose, adaptability to
meet future needs and investigating alternative use potential by means of
ongoing property reviews;
• Ensuring the Council has quality data on property utilisation, running costs and
condition on which to base investment decisions through Asset Management
Planning and the on-going development of an Asset Management Delivery Plan;
• Maintaining a strategic input to the preparation of the Local Planning Framework
process to ensure the provision is made for Council services, for alternative or
more beneficial potential to be realised from surplus or under-utilised properties
and that developers contribute to the cost of providing Council services directly
arising from their developments;
• Maintaining a property disposal programme to realise the value of unsuitable or
inefficient properties or sites with more beneficial use potential;
• Improving the quality of support services with the aim of increasing customer
satisfaction and a reduction in the maintenance backlog demonstrating
responsiveness to changes in legislation;
• Promoting more innovative use of property including “hot desking” and shared
use arrangements with partner organisations;
• Using procurement as a tool to secure improved performance from consultants
and contractors e.g. through partnering arrangements;
• Improving quality of the built environment through sustainable and accessible
development and the management of Health & Safety hazards such as asbestos
• Reviewing and clarifying devolved roles and responsibilities for property
management and development; and
• Undertaking property reviews as part of the Asset Management Planning
3 Implementation of the Strategy
3.1 Specific projects and targets will be set out in the Asset Management Strategy to
deliver the corporate and service objectives of the Council. The Council’s targets will
• Establishing Standards for measuring building condition, suitability, energy and
water efficiency, building accessibility, sufficiency (capacity and utilisation) office
portfolio, spend on property costs and time and cost predictability of building
• Developing and Implementing a property data management system which will be
systematically developed for professional use and accessible by our customers;
• Initiating Property Reviews as part of the Asset Management process to ensure
provision is made for Council services and opportunities are taken to:
o Realise the value of under-utilised and surplus sites; and
o Achieve developers’ contributions.
• Developing a structured approach to working with partners;
• Meeting targets on delivery of the capital programme;
• Further developing property support services users and stakeholders and working
with service colleagues to improve processes; and
• Improving Capital Programme Management through improved working through the
Capital Asset Group and asset management processes including the process of
scheme and programme evaluation, resources allocation, scheme prioritisation and
3.2 At Officer level, the implementation will be monitored by the Corporate Property
Officer reporting to the Senior Management Group and then to elected Members of
the Cabinet and Overview and Scrutiny Panels.
4 Evaluating the Effectiveness of the Strategy
4.1 This will be achieved through:
• Service units and customer feedback on the quality of support services;
• Monitoring projects, work programmes and corporate/service targets against
• Reviewing costs against targets and external comparators where possible;
• Monitoring achievements against targets set in the Property Services Plan;
• Reviewing and updating where necessary, this strategy on an annual basis;
• Monitoring mandatory and local key property performance indicators and
through benchmarking aspects of the service with comparator authorities such
o Property condition and maintenance backlog
o Cost of managing the property portfolio
o Maintenance, energy, water costs and energy performance
o Compliance with predicted costs and programme for capital projects
5 Strategic Alliance
5.1 Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) and High Peak Borough Council
(HPBC) took the decision in late 2007 to appoint a joint Chief Executive and develop
a joint transformation process allied to this appointment with the aim of providing
excellent services on shared basis in a more effective and efficient way than
5.2 This whole process of developing a combined approach to service delivery has been
branded as the ‘Strategic Alliance’.
5.3 The Strategic Alliance was presented with a vision and a set of objectives in order to
govern its overall development:-
Under the management of a single Chief Executive, to establish joint working
arrangements and a shared approach to the delivery of key services that will improve
the quality of people’s lives in the two authorities and deliver greater value for
5.4 In detail, bringing this vision to life through:-
• Increasing the levels of customer satisfaction through the improvement of
• Produce realistic cash savings in order to limit Council Tax increases;
• Strengthen and share skills, expertise and learning in order to deliver better
• Preserve and enhance the market towns and rural areas within each local
authority area; and
• Increase our influence locally, regionally and nationally in order to secure a
‘better deal’ for all our communities.
5.5 A Transformation Programme has been developed as the tool for achieving these
ambitions and realise the vision for the Strategic Alliance as a whole, across the two
5.6 The Strategic Alliance has now been formed and is in place. There are a number of
factors that underpin the development of a Strategic Alliance between HPBC and
• The two local authority areas are conjoined (they share a common boundary);
• A range of the different communities within each local authority area have
strong community-based and lifestyle links; and
• Both share a role within the Peak District National Park Authority.
5.7 A map showing the geographical coverage of the two Councils is enclosed as
6 Strategic Alliance - Governance Arrangements
6.1 A Joint Members Committee (JMC) has been established in order for elected
Members to make decisions around the future direction of the Alliance and also to
scrutinise the process as it develops. The JMC is made up of Members of the
different political groupings of each Council and is also supported by officers from
7 Strategic Alliance - Corporate Management
7.1 The Chief Executive together with two Corporate Directors from SMDC and three
Strategic Directors and a Deputy Chief Executive from HPBC form the Joint Senior
Management Group (JSMG). JSMG meets every fortnight, and deals with strategic
issues, as well as acting as a ‘clearing house, for reports destined for Cabinet (SMDC),
Executive (HPBC) and the various scrutiny and regulatory meetings taking place at
7.2 The senior management structures of the two authorities are currently being
reviewed. A programme of restructuring the managerial arrangements across the
alliance has been agreed. This process will focus on the creation of a single
management team in order to drive forward the Strategic Alliance.
7.3 As part of the Strategic Alliance Transformation Programme, Property Services
including asset management, has been selected for whole service transformation.
This is an area of activity where considerable financial savings can be made at the
same time as consolidating skills and expertise and generating an overall
improvement of capacity. The transformation will involve the establishment of a
Joint Property Team that will provide support to both councils. It is proposed that
the new arrangements will take place with effect from 1st July 2009.
8 Joint Approach to Asset Management
8.1 Under the restructuring arrangements of the Strategic Alliance, a joint property team
will be formed under the remit of a newly appointed Executive Director supported
by a newly appointed Head of Property Services.
8.2 The new property team will provide a strategic property advice and support across
the Strategic Alliance including:
• Strategic asset management/advice/policy development;
• Operational property vision, strategy and review;
• Working with service departments to co-ordinate asset management;
• Collection, collation and management of property information;
• Estate Development Strategy (working with regeneration and planning);
• Budget management including prioritisation;
• Capital receipts strategy;
• Client Liaison and project commissioning;
• Option Appraisal and Whole Life Costing;
• Performance Measurement and Management;
• Business and Financial Management;
• Commercial property portfolio strategy;
• Managing health and safety and contract management; and
• Energy strategy and management.
8.3 The operational function of the property business i.e. facilities and building
maintenance including some professional design and construction related services
will be outsourced to a third party. The latest proposal is to partner and engage
Derbyshire County Council’s Direct Service Organisation to deliver these functions
across the Strategic Alliance.
9 Staffordshire Moorlands District Council
9.1 Staffordshire Moorlands is in North-East Staffordshire, bordered by Cheshire and
Stoke-on-Trent to the west, and Derbyshire to the east. The district covers an area
of 57,624 hectares and has a population of approximately 96,000. Around 50% of
the population is based in the three towns of Leek, Biddulph and Cheadle while 21%
of the population lives in the larger settlements of Cheddleton, Endon,
Werrington/Cellarhead and Blythe Bridge. The remainder are divided among 34
rural parishes. The population of Staffordshire Moorlands is predicted to grow by
2021 with a significant decrease in the number of young people and people of a
‘working age’ and an increase in residents in older age groups.
9.2 A third of the district lies inside the Peak Park. The Peak District National Park
Authority represents the special interests of this Park. Of the remainder of the
Moorlands, around 80 per cent is designated as Green Belt. The district has close
links to parts of Cheshire, as well as to the city of Stoke-on-Trent, which exerts a
strong influence on the west of the district in particular, and provides significant
employment opportunities and services for many people in Staffordshire Moorlands.
9.3 The unemployment rate of 1.2 per cent (December 2006) is the lowest in
Staffordshire. Whilst jobs within the district are, on average the lowest paid in
Staffordshire, the earnings of residents in the district are the third highest in
Staffordshire. This is due to a significant proportion (49%) of the working population
of Staffordshire Moorlands working outside the district.
9.4 Staffordshire Moorlands is home to the UK’s major theme park – Alton Towers, while
Leek hosts the headquarters of Britannia Building Society – the UK’s second largest
mutual society. Cheadle accommodates JCB, a world class manufacturer of
excavators. Biddulph is home to the celebrated Grange Gardens, the best surviving
example of an ornamental Victorian garden. Biddulph is undergoing major
transformation through the regeneration of the Town Centre.
9.5 Community life is a strong and distinctive feature of Staffordshire Moorlands.
People identify closely with their towns, neighbourhoods and villages. Pride in local
communities is high, leading to a rich pattern of community activities and
organisations. Local parish councils, voluntary and community groups play a vital
part in maintaining this special characteristic of the district.
10 Corporate Objectives and Priorities
10.1 There are clear and explicit links between corporate objectives and priorities and
those of capital and asset planning.
10.2 The Council’s Corporate Plan outlines its overall Vision as being “achieving excellence
in the delivery of high quality services that meets the needs and aspirations of our
10.3 Based on consultation with residents of the district, this Vision is to be achieved
through activities in broad areas:
• Listening and leading to provide positive outcomes for our communities;
• Working with partners to create a better place for all to live, work and visit; and
• Providing accessible and improving services to our citizens.
10.4 The key priority outcomes for the District Council are identified as being:
• Improved Community – by reducing crime and the fear of crime;
• Improved Health – by effective health improvement and by increasing
participation in sport and physical activity at all levels and abilities to ensure
• Protection of the Environment – with effective planning policy and a robust
response to the challenge of climate change;
• A Strong Economy – by developing sustainable towns and rural communities with
work opportunities and excellent public amenities; and
• Decent & Affordable Housing – by increasing supply of affordable homes and
facilitating improvement in conditions of existing properties.
10.5 The development of a more corporate and strategic approach to capital and asset
planning continues to be an important ingredient to providing accessible and
continually improving services and can contribute to creating a better place for
people to live in, work in and visit. There is a clear focus on corporate objectives and
priorities in the work of the Capital Asset Group, especially in the context of the
appraisal and prioritisation of capital projects.
10.6 The Corporate Plan will provide the basis for targets in the annual performance plan,
service plan and staff appraisals.
10.7 Some of the District Council’s key priority projects contained within its corporate
• Developing a Sports Village in Leek;
• Developing a junior football centre in Cheadle;
• Developing a Community Arts facility in Leek;
• Improving Community facilities in Biddulph;
• Implementing the Biddulph Area Action Plan;
• Implementing the affordable housing initiative;
• Progressing the Local Development Framework; and
• Improving the public conveniences.
10.8 The Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan and Asset Management Strategy 2009
-2012 sets how assets and capital investment will be used and managed to help
deliver our corporate vision.
11 Case Study No. 35 – (Corporate Capital Strategies and Asset Management Plans)
11.1 In 2007, the Council took part in the final round of fieldwork for the evaluation of the
development and implementation of corporate capital strategies and asset
management plans for Communities and Local Government. York Consulting LLP
carried out the fieldwork and produced a report on the work undertaken by the
11.2 Their report concluded that:
• The Council is a strong performer on capital and asset planning. This is reflected
in the fact that it is implementing almost all of the good practice processes,
generating nearly all the process outputs, and there are examples of a number of
• Our research suggests that the three key success factors in relation to capital and
asset planning in local authorities are to do with corporate working/culture, the
commitment of senior officers and elected members and the quality of leadership
across the authority. There is strong evidence that these building blocks are in
place in the Council and this is central to why it has been so successful in moving
up the capital and asset planning learning curve;
• A more corporate and strategic approach to the capital programme and the use
of property assets is now embedded in the way in which the Council conducts its
• We would highlight the particular strengths of the Council (relative to other
comparable authorities) as being the role of the Capital Asset Group as the driver
of a corporate and strategic approach to capital and asset planning and as the
focus of challenge to capital business proposals, the use of option appraisal in the
preparation of robust business cases for investment and, most important of all,
the focus on outcomes.
11.3 York Consulting went on to say that -
‘Looking to the future, whilst the Council is already towards the higher end of the
Local Government capital and asset planning learning curve, areas where it could
further enhance its performance include the following’ -
Develop a medium/long term Property Strategy;
Challenge the non-operational property portfolio to the same degree that has
already occurred in relation to operational assets;
Develop further the role of CAG in relation to challenging the use of existing
assets and project implementation;
Implement a rigorous process of undertaking post-implementation reviews and
feeding the lessons learned back into the planning and implementation of new
Enhance the corporate property database by, for example, the inclusion of
suitability and sufficiency, and integration with other relevant datasets and the
Council’s financial systems;
Develop a strategy that sets out in detail how the Council proposes to reduce the
level of required maintenance to zero;
Implement the agreed policy on the use of whole life costing;
Develop a strategic approach to flexible working.
12 Community Engagement
12.1 The District Council carries out a good deal of work with partner organisations. This
work is undertaken as part of a Local Strategic Partnership (called the Moorlands
Together LSP) which encompasses a range of organisations such as the Primary Care
Trust; the Police Service, and the voluntary sector. The main focus of the LSP’s work
is the Community Strategy, which ensures that key public services are co-ordinated
and delivered in an efficient manner.
12.2 The vision of the Community Strategy is:
“By 2020 Staffordshire Moorlands will be recognised as a vital part of a regenerated
North Staffordshire. All our communities will be enjoying an excellent quality of life.
Our vibrant market towns will be home to a range of successful niche retail and
visitor related businesses. We will have a highly skilled and entrepreneurial
workforce and affordable and desirable housing.”
12.3 The District Council and its partners in the Moorlands Together Local Strategic
Partnership have been pursuing an agenda for empowering local communities. This
approach has been similar policy agenda as outlined in the Government White Paper
Communities in control: real people, real power which was published on 9th July
12.4 In Staffordshire Moorlands on 12th February 2008, the Cabinet approved proposals
for locality working as the basis of further development and consultation. There is a
very close fit between SMDC proposals and specific ideas in the White Paper, in
particular the following key elements of SMDC’s Locality Working proposals:
• Improve community engagement;
• Develop a Local Charter for every ward;
• Improve partnership arrangements and systems;
• Improve public accountability;
• Improve communication and information to the public; and
• Support the community leadership role of Ward members and Parish Councils.
12.5 As part of this process, it has been agreed that further asset management work
should be carried out as locality working is developed. As part of the gap analysis for
locality working, one of the key areas identified for further development was
“community management and ownership” of public assets. This work links to
Making Assets Work: The Quirk Review of community management and ownership
of public assets.
12.6 The Council’s expression of interest to take part in the third round of the Advancing
Assets for Communities Demonstration Programme has been approved. As part of
this work, the Council will be seeking to transfer the ownership and management of
Haregate Community Centre to the voluntary sector. A place on the programme
with provide the Council with consultancy advice and support in order to develop a
strategic approach to asset transfer and to progress joint plans with local
community-led third sector organisations, in line with the recommendations of the
13 The Property Portfolio
13.1 The District Council is a significant property owner with its assets valued in excess of
£23 million (taken from balance sheet as at 31st March 2008). There is a need for the
Council to think strategically about its property holding to ensure its property
portfolio maintains value and helps to meet the Council’s aims and objectives.
13.2 The District Council’s total portfolio comprises 199 properties. A breakdown of the
property portfolio by asset category as defined by RICS/CIFA is shown in the Table
Asset Category Total Number of Properties
13.3 A full list of the District Council’s property portfolio is available from the Property
Services Section of the Council.
14 Corporate Management - Member Arrangements
14.1 SMDC is composed of 56 Councillors elected every four years. The executive role of
the Council is undertaken by the Cabinet. The Cabinet consists of the Leader of the
Council and eight other Cabinet Members, each having responsibilities for a portfolio
of services. The Cabinet have to make decisions which are in line with the Council’s
overall policies and budget. If it wishes to make a decision which is outside the
budget or policy framework, this must be referred to the Council as a whole to
decide. The Executive arrangements are shown in the illustration below:
14.2 The responsibility for corporate asset management within the Cabinet is assigned to
the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Development and Property (the Property
Champion). The thematic responsibilities of the portfolio holder in relation to
property are to:
• Ensure that property owned or occupied by the Council yields the best possible
return consistent with fulfilling its policies and statutory obligations through sale,
letting or own occupation and to review rates on Staffordshire Moorlands District
Council owner occupied property;
• Ensure that all land and property is acquired to meet the Council’s future
requirements consistent with financial and statutory constraints;
• Maintain and review a property management information service to include all
Council property and land;
• Mange all Council owned property with the exception of that which is service
specific e.g. leisure centres, sports pavilions and grounds;
• Energy and water conservation in respect of Council property;
• Manage all matters in respect of leases and tenancy agreements for land,
buildings, shops and market stalls including enforcement of the conditions of
• Consider matters arising under property health and safety legislation;
• Design, prepare and manage contracts for building work of all corporate property
including joint projects and partnering;
• Maintain and review an approved list of building/engineering contractors and
• Carry out a strategic property reviews as part of the asset management
• Produce and review an Asset Management Strategy for approval by the Council.
14.3 There are four Overview and Scrutiny Panels who support the work of the Cabinet
and the Council as a whole. Their overview and scrutiny of decisions leads to reports
and recommendations which advice the Cabinet and Council as a whole on its
policies, budget and service delivery. Under the District Council’s Constitution for
Scrutiny, the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Development and Property reports to the
Services Overview and Scrutiny Panel on property matters.
14.4 This structure provides the governance arrangements that allow elected Members
and Senior Officers to focus on strategic property issues.
15 Corporate Management - Officer Arrangements
15.1 At SMDC, many of the day-to-day responsibilities for asset management are
delegated to the Corporate Director and Monitoring Officer who is the designated
Corporate Property Champion (the CPO) with responsibility for managing the
implementation of the asset management strategy. The two Corporate Directors
take a corporate and strategic approach to capital and asset planning.
15.2 The role of the CPO within the authority has been defined by SMG as follows:
• To advice the Joint Senior Management Group on all corporate asset
• To advice Cabinet through the portfolio holder for property services on all
strategic asset management and planning matters;
• To be responsible for the delivery of effective asset management throughout the
• To ensure top performance in the property service;
• To champion shared use of buildings and property with other organisations; and
• To ensure that asset delivery plans, policies and processes are ‘fit for purpose’.
15.3 The role and responsibility of the CPO have been agreed by Members and these have
been communicated to all staff within the authority.
15.4 The Head of Property Services provides support to the CPO by providing the
operational management of the property function. The CPO reports directly to the
Joint Senior Management Group and the Cabinet on all property matters.
16 The Capital Asset Group
16.1 The authority has an established Capital Asset Group (CAG) which is chaired by the
Corporate Director and Chief Finance Officer. This group has the responsibility for
the development and implementation of both the Council’s Medium Term Financial
Plan and Asset Management Strategy.
16.2 The membership of CAG consists of the following Members and Senior Officers:
• Corporate Director and Chief Financial Officer (Chair)
• Portfolio Holder for Finance and Resources
• Head of Finance and Revenues
• Head of ICT and Procurement
• Head of Environmental Services
• Head of Housing Services
• Head of Regeneration
• Head of Leisure, Sport and Culture
• Head of Property Services
16.3 The terms of reference of CAG can be summarised as follows:
• To establish and ensure ongoing strategic direction to the use of capital
assets/resources including the continued development of the Council’s Medium
Term Financial Plan and Asset Management Strategy in line with government and
• To identify, co-ordinate and prioritise demands for expenditure on land and
• To recommend a capital programme to the Cabinet and monitor its
• To assess the efficiency and effectiveness of financial resources deployed in
existing land and buildings;
• To evaluate all current and completed capital projects; and
• To recommend a programme of action to JSMG and Cabinet for approval.
16.4 Responsibilities of CAG are as follows:
• To identify demand for capital, property and other resources from corporate and
service wide objectives;
• To appraise options for and prioritise capital funding bids based on an agreed
scheme methodology using agreed selection criteria related to supporting
business cases that are based on whole life costs and an evaluation matrix;
• To monitor and evaluate ongoing and completed projects using the corporate
• To ensure that property assets meet the operational and financial needs of the
Council through regular reviews, acquisitions and disposals;
• To produce performance information to monitor effectiveness of the processes
and the effectiveness of asset performance; and
• To consider the opportunities for the shared use of property assets.
16.5 It is essential that capital resources are applied in pursuit of the Council’s objectives.
Therefore, the allocation of capital funding is driven by the Council’s Corporate Plan,
via supporting strategies and plans such as the Waste Strategy and Medium Term
Financial Plan. The responsibility of the Group also has responsibility to ensure that
property assets meet the operational and financial needs of the Council through
property reviews, acquisitions and disposals.
16.6 The Group makes recommendations for investment decisions by ensuring that the
schemes are evaluated with consideration of the evaluation and criteria scores for
new capital projects. Individual schemes have to fit with corporate priorities and
must make a significant return on investment and in terms of outcomes.
16.7 Once schemes have been recommended for approval from the Capital Asset Group they are
considered by the Council’s Strategic Management Group and then by Cabinet for final
16.8 In addition, capital schemes must also represent excellent value for money. This
includes consideration not only of proposed capital expenditure but also the funding
decision, especially given the declining availability of capital resources. It is
therefore essential that alternative funding options are considered for projects i.e.
leasing and borrowing etc.
16.9 A key requirement of the Audit Commission’s Use of Resources assessment is “the
council’s capital programme gives priority to potential capital projects based on a
formal, objective approval process”. This is the guiding principle in the formation of
16.10 CAG’s remit has been further developed to consider the use of post evaluation for
projects. Post Project Evaluation (PPE) is an essential aid to improving project
performance and improving decision making. It provides an opportunity for the
Group to learn lessons and share experiences from capital funded projects. It is
important that any lessons learned from post-implementation reviews are fed back
into the planning and implementation of new capital projects.
16.11 The CAG approach to PPE ensures that all projects that use capital resources are
subjected to post project evaluation. The outcomes from completed projects are
formally reported to CAG within twelve months of project completion.
16.12 A standard proforma approach is used for PPE and projects are assessed under eight
1 - Business Case Review – Outcomes (Mandatory)
2 – Business Case Review – Financial Performance (Mandatory)
3 – Time/Cost/Quality (Mandatory)
4 – Efficiencies
5 – Project Issue Situation
6 – Lessons Learned (Mandatory)
7 – Risk Management Review (Mandatory)
8 – Customer Comments following PPE (Mandatory)
16.13 Based on national advice given by York Consulting LLP, the Council must ensure that
post-implementation reviews are undertaken for all capital projects that are
proportionate to their scale and complexity.
16.14 CAG has decided that Whole Life Appraisal techniques should be applied to all
capital projects. In the past, procurement decisions have commonly been made
examining the ‘most economically advantageous tender’. The concept behind this is
to take account of cost and qualitative issues in order to achieve a suitable balance
and demonstrate value for money in any decision made.
16.15 The problem is in many cases that this decision is based purely on the cost and
quality measured at day one of a project rather than a full evaluation of the
components over the full life. CAG has accepted at it is possible that when the
‘whole life’ considerations are taken into account that a ‘value for money decision’ in
the short term would not be the most suitable option over the longer term.
16.16 The Whole Life Costing spreadsheet template and supporting information produced
by IPF Asset Management Planning Network and Consultancy has been adopted for
use with appraising the Council’s capital projects.
16.17 ‘Whole life cycle costing’ assessments are a corporate requirement for all new major
works and plant installed. The Council’s project for improvements to the District
Wide CCTV Scheme was the first major exercise in the application of Whole Life
16.18 The authority has made significant improvement in its approach to project
management and implementation over the past few years. It is currently a Beacon
Council for the delivery of quality services through procurement. In relation to
project management systems, PRINCE 2 has been rolled out across the authority so
that Cabinet and JSMG can have an overview of project implementation across the
whole capital programme. PRINCE 2 will continue to be used as a management tool
in relation to all projects of any significance undertaken by the authority.
17.1 The development of the asset management strategy has been informed by a wealth
of constructive consultation. Consultation is managed corporately by the Chief
17.2 There have been consultations made with a wide range of stakeholders. The
consultation exercises relevant to property related issues include:
17.3 Member Working Groups – Meetings take place which comprise a team of Members
and Officers working together on tasks set by the Overview and Scrutiny Panels. The
groups are formally constituted with terms of reference, and a Member is
nominated to Chair the respective groups. The Efficiency Working Group is one such
group which has been tasked to consider service areas and look into initiatives
where revenue savings and efficiencies may be made. Energy management and
rationalization of the Council’s assets have come under the microscope of the group.
Targets have been set for achievement in 2009/2010 and regular reporting and
scrutiny takes place to ensure the Council is on course for delivering the efficiencies.
Other working groups cover wide ranging topics including Parking, the Local
Development Framework and Affordable Housing. Some of the work of these
groups where effective consultation has taken place is mentioned elsewhere in this
17.4 A space audit of Moorlands House identified part of the building which was grossly
underused. The spare space has been fully utilised and new facilities created to form
a new post room and Contact Call Centre in response to a changing service agenda;
17.5 Staff representatives are involved in “The Green Team” to promote energy efficiency
within the Council’s buildings to reduce energy consumption, carbon emissions and
17.6 The Corporate Health and Safety group meets every two months and is chaired by
the Corporate Director and Monitoring Officer. Property related matters are
discussed at this forum about the built environment to ensure it is safe, accessible
for all users and complies with all relevant statutory standards;
17.7 The Head of Property Services is a member of the Risk Management Group. The
Group has regular discussions which involves the use and condition of Council land,
buildings and equipment. The Council is the owner of infrastructure assets i.e.
bridges, dams, and the condition of these has been debated at the group;
17.8 The Development Management Group, which is chaired by the Corporate Property
Officer, comprises a team of Officers whom engage in development work with
service areas within the Council and external companies. The Group is formally
constituted with terms of reference and the Group meet every two months. The
work considers all development issues ranging from property, housing, development
control, regeneration and conservation. The Group ensures that all development
proposals that are being proposed through the planning process or being considered
by internal service areas.
17.9 Consulting with partners and other stakeholders on capital and property schemes
and taking appropriate actions on the basis of the results of these consultations. Key
stakeholders, town councils and the public have been consulted about the Council’s
plans to provide a sports village at Leek and a junior football centre in Cheadle. The
provision of a community arts facility in Leek and the proposals to improve the
community facilities in Biddulph are presently undergoing a consultation exercise;
17.20 The public convenience improvement scheme has undergone a consultation exercise
with the public and the British Toilet Association;
17.21 Key documents such as the Biddulph Area Action Plan and the Local Development
Framework have resulted in the public, partners and statutory consultees being
invited to offer comments;
17.21 Regular operational meetings with the Council’s market traders and leisure operator
provides useful information and feedback on changes to the way in which the
Council delivers its services. Further liaison work is planned to take place to engage
with building occupiers and various tenant groups;
17.22 Building and engineering contracts provide the need to consult at an early stage of
the project with clients, the voluntary sector and advisers including the fire and
17.23 Customer satisfaction and shopper surveys are carried out for the Council’s services
including car parks, markets, One Stop Shops and the market towns. The results
from these surveys are used to shape the way in which services may be improved
17.24 Large scale community engagement has been used to develop the Community
Strategy. This involved the use of household surveys, publicity events, newspaper
and radio coverage, and public meetings to engage the community; and
17.25 The results of the consultation exercises with citizens and stakeholders in the
development of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan and Annual Budget
Strategies are an important element of asset management planning. For example, as
part of a consultation exercise on the 2009/10 Budget Strategy, the public supported
the Council’s decision to refurbish the roof at South Moorlands Leisure Centre. It
was also supported that the public conveniences should be continued. Some areas
where the public called for ‘disinvestment’ included a reduction in car parking
provision at Brough Park Leisure Centre (with the land being sold as a result).
18 Present Position and Gap Analysis
18.1 A review of our priorities shows a gap between the Council’s asset portfolio and the
asset portfolio needed for the delivery of excellent services in the future. The
following are specific areas in which our present stock does not meet future
18.2 General Areas
• The asset stock is a major source of energy consumption and CO2 emissions. The
drive to reduce these will lead to fewer and more efficient buildings;
• Information on the asset stock’s legislative compliance needs to be enhanced;
• The portfolio does not make use of and generate renewable energy;
• A strategic approach to flexible working is required across the property portfolio;
• An office accommodation strategy is required to promote new approaches for
utilising space occupied within property; new working practices should be
• The non-operational property portfolio should be challenged thereby driving out
efficiencies, reducing operating costs and generating a capital receipt where
• The corporate property database should be enhanced by including suitability and
sufficiency surveys and integrating them with other relevant datasets and the
Council’s financial systems;
18.3 Service Specific Areas
• Land and property should be fully utilised to address current and future needs
for older people’s accommodation, social and affordable housing;
• Service property reviews should be undertaken for operational property, for
example Fowlchurch Depot and all the Council’s One Stop Shops should be
reviewed to identify service shortfalls;
• Property assets should be aligned to support and underpin the needs of the
Local Development Framework and economic master planning exercises for the
• In cases where there is a sound business case, property assets should be
transferred to community and voluntary groups in line with the Quirk Review.
19 Capacity Building
19.1 As mentioned previously, a new corporate Property Services Team will be formed in
July 2009 between SMDC and HPBC under the transformation programme of the
Strategic Alliance. The new team, which will be supported by a new corporate
management structure, will provide an effective organisation of property
management across the Strategic Alliance.
19.2 The structure of the new corporate property team has yet to be decided and is
proposed that the role of ‘Property Champions’ and ‘Corporate Property Officer’ will
continue to deployed to advice the Cabinet/Executive including the Joint Senior
Management Group respectively on all corporate asset management planning
19.3 It is important that the Council puts into place a new structure which is capable of
delivering corporate asset management and supporting service areas. The
availability of the right staff in the right posts with the right attributes, experience,
specialist knowledge and skill will be vital to the future success of the team and for
driving forward the service.
19.4 The Councils of the Strategic Alliance will ensure that their property management
arrangements have a strong corporate component and are adequately resourced,
especially in terms of staffing and appropriate information technology.
19.5 Most of the other property functions will be outsourced including the facilities
management functions. One of the options for outsourcing is the use of a
“partnering” approach and Derbyshire County Council has expressed an interest to
deliver some of these functions.
20 Efficiency Gains
20.1 In response to the National improvement and Efficiency Strategy (NIES), the District
Council has been working in partnership to deliver better and more efficient
services. It is recognised that better use of assets is important for achieving all four
strategic priorities of the NIES by:
• Promoting efficiency gains;
• Responding in an innovative way to customer needs;
• Tailoring assets more to what communities needs; and
• Underpinning local authorities decisions to improve local economic growth.
20.2 In addition, the District Council has continued to drive forward its Efficiency Strategy
and adopted Asset Management as one of the six areas for delivering efficiency
savings as part of the CSR07 Value for Money Delivery Plan. The savings are being
derived from reductions in energy and operating costs, savings that come from asset
disposals, asset sharing and income generation from letting out underused property.
20.3 The Medium Term Financial Plan 2009/10 to 2011/12 sets out the efficiency savings
to be achieved for asset management. This includes a financial saving of £40,000 in
2009/10 and a further £10,000 for 2010/11. A presentation was delivered to the
Members Efficiency Working on 26th January 2009 setting out how the efficiencies
will be achieved.
21 Use of Resources
21.1 The Audit Commission has put the council equal top in its assessment of Use of
Resources for 2008 along with Sevenoaks District Council. The District Council was
one of only two authorities to achieve top scores of Level Four on four of the five
criteria making up the assessment. The council scored top marks for financial
reporting, financial management, financial standing and value for money.
22.2 The District Council will build on this work for assessment under the new
comprehensive area assessment (CAA) framework.
23 Property and Asset Data
23.1 The storage, maintenance and management of corporate property data is
fundamental to asset management. The CPO has corporate responsibility for
ensuring that records are held and maintained for all property types.
23.2 Considerable work has been undertaken in recent years to bring together the data
types. The CAPS UNI-form “Estates Management System” is being used for
recording information relating to land ownership, property interests granted, deed
information, utility information, valuation data, property charges and key dates.
23.3 Responsibility for the central collection and maintenance of the data held on the
system rests with the Head of Property Services. Day to day management of the
system is the responsibility of the Asset Manager who is the System Supervisor (post
presently vacant). Data update and validation will be continuous and processes
need to be put in place to ensure that information is entered accurately and in a
consistent manner. Further development work needs to be undertaken to
incorporate additional information on the system such as the Asbestos Register and
23.4 The database of the new CAPS UNI-form “Estates Management System” is built
around a gazetteer management system that is fully compliant with the latest
release of the standard for handling and managing address information (BS7666).
This system also deals with the many administrative processes for acquisitions,
disposals, leasing, asset management and maintenance of properties. Each property
or a piece of land has a unique property reference number (UPRN) and this will
enable it to be linked and referenced to all Council service departments. The
investment in CAPS Uniform software will provide integrated links between the key
service departments and the Local Land and Property Gazetteer.
23.5 The CAPS UNI-form system has five modules:
• Acquisition and Disposals
• Leases and Assignments
• Asset Register
• Works and Maintenance
23.6 Four of the five modules are currently being used. The Works and Maintenance
module has yet to be used. Through the use of Microsoft Access it is possible to
query the information held on all areas of the database and produce customised
reports for presentation either in Microsoft Access or Excel.
23.7 System security has been set up to allow property services staff access to the
appropriate areas of the system. Various levels of security have been created to
ensure the integrity of the system. The ability to read, create, update and erase
records is linked to the role of the user. System security is the responsibility of the
Estates Management Supervisor.
23.8 The information held on the Estates Management Module is also of use to other
services within the Council. Consideration has been given to the information
available on the database, its relevance to other departments and the most effective
way for that data to be made available and used by the appropriate personnel.
23.9 The Property Services team has received training on the UNI-form Estates
Management Module. An action plan of training needs and additional skills and
knowledge has been developed in order implement improvements and consistency
of data. The training on UNI-form is being rolled out to other service users and
23.10 In addition to the fundamental need for accurate property records, the data on the
system can be put to other uses:
• Estate Management – effective monitoring and implementation of rent reviews
and lease renewals through the UNI-form diary date system;
• Utilities – logging of meter information and actual readings is important in the
financial and occupational aspects of utility bills.
• Insurance – it is possible to record insurance valuations and identify vacant
properties on the system.
• Asset Register – the system holds the information in the form of the asset
register to provide accurate financial information for the authority’s accounts on
an ongoing basis.
• Analysis – the range and volume of data on the system together to the links to
Microsoft Access will allow analysis of the portfolio to be undertaken as required.
The type of data on the system and its utilisation within property services and
the authority as a whole is an area that requires further development over the
next twelve months.
23.11 An important element of a strategic asset strategy is having a clear understanding of
the condition of the assets, the investment needed to bring them up to a satisfactory
condition to maintain them and run them. Only with this information is it possible to
establish priorities for investment and make decisions on the suitability and
sufficiency of the assets to deliver service and corporate priorities.
23.12 The Council has updated the physical condition of the property portfolio to
determine the requirements for the maintenance and renewal needs. Detailed
analysis of this data has been undertaken and the backlog maintenance liability has
been assessed and quantified in the short term (1 to 5 years). Further details are
provided in this strategy.
23.13 All of the Council’s basic property data has been inputted to the new CAPS UNI-form
estates management system, having previously been held on an Excel spreadsheet.
This incorporates information on acquisitions and disposals, land and property
ownership, leases and assignments, and the asset register. Further development
work is planned to incorporate additional relevant information in the system, such as
the asbestos register and condition survey data.
23.14 There is an on-going process of data collection and updating, and the condition
survey has been updated over the past six months. The District Council is carrying
out further assessments of the suitability and sufficiency of its property holdings.
This work has started and the District Valuer’s Office has provided support and
advice in undertaking an assessment of the non-operational property portfolio.
23.15 Access to the property database has been extended to include other service users
including finance and legal.
23.16 The Council’s assets are valued on a five year rolling programme in accordance with
the guidance and practice notes published by CIPFA/RICS. The District Council is
preparing for the transition from the SORP (A Statement of Recommended Practice:
Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom) to the IFRS-
based Code of Practice on Local Government Accounting. It is the Government’s
intention that Whole of Government Accounts will be published for the first time for
the 2009-10 financial year and will be in accordance with the IFRS.
24 Property Performance Indicators
24.1 The monitoring of a suite of property indicators (pPIs) is an important mechanism by
which the Council can potentially drive a process of continuous improvement in the
management of the property assets. The following four criteria are important in
identifying an appropriate suite of pPIs:
• The indicators should help in assessing whether the authority is meeting its
strategic aims for asset management;
• The data should be relatively easy to collect and assess;
• The indicators should be meaningful;
• The indicators should be capable of being used to benchmark the authority’s
performance against other local authorities and public bodies and the private
24.2 The District Council has standardised on the pPIs developed under the auspices of
the Association of Chief Corporate Property Officers in Local Government (COPROP)
and endorsed by Communities and Local Government and the Department for
Education and Skills. Cabinet approved the use of these indicators in November
2005 and the Council’s performance on 21 of the 32 pPIs was included in the
2006/07 update of the asset management plan.
24.3 The actual data, in most cases, has been collated and compiled for the 2007/2008
financial year. The Table below, allows the property performance data be compared
with data from the past two years.
National or COPROP 2005/2006 2006/2007 2007/2008
Local Performance Indicator Actuals Actuals Actuals
Indicator & Description
1A % Gross internal floor-space in
condition category A. 7% 6% 3%
% Gross internal floor-space in
condition category B. 41% 43% 32%
% Gross internal floor-space in
condition category C. 30% 31% 49%
% Gross internal floor-space in
condition category D. 22% 20% 16%
1B Required maintenance by cost
(i) As total cost in priority
levels 1-3. £539,034 £801,658 £1,373,390
(ii) As a % in priority levels 1. 54% 65% 17%
(iii) As a % in priority levels 2. 39% 18% 36%
(iv) As a % in priority levels 3. 7% 17% 47%
(v) Overall cost per square
metre GIA. £22.31 £33.17 £37.17
1C Annual percentage change to total
required maintenance figure over -14% -49% -71%
1D (I) Total spend on
maintenance in previous £230,656 £272,321 Tbc
(II) Total spend on £9.55 £11.27 Tbc
maintenance per square
metre GIA. 60% 32%
planned planned Tbc
(III) Percentage split of total 40% 68%
spend on maintenance responsive responsive
between planned and
2A Energy costs/consumption (gas, £7.43 £7.00 £4.21*
electricity, oil, solid fuel) – to be
reported by property category in £ per
square metre GIA and by kWh per 92.22 104.75 59.94*
square metre GIA.
2B Water costs/consumption – to be £1.34 £1.37 £0.80*
reported by property category in £
spend per square metre GIA and by 3.82 0.87 -
volume per square metre GIA.
2C CO2 emissions – to be reported by
property category in tonnes of carbon 0.04 0.04 0.02
dioxide per square metre GIA.
3A % of Portfolio by GIA square metre, for
which a Suitability Survey has been 0 0 0
undertaken over the last 5 years.
3B Number of properties, for which a
Suitability Survey has been undertaken 0 0 0
over the last 5 years.
4A % of Portfolio by GIA square metre, for
which an Access Audit has been 100% 100% Tbc
undertaken by a competent person.
4B Number of properties, for which an
Access Audit has been undertaken by a 16 16 16
4C % of Portfolio by GIA square metre, for
which there is an Accessibility Plan in 0 0 Tbc
4D Number of properties, for which there 16
is an Accessibility Plan in place. 0 0
5A.1 a) Operational office property as a
percentage of the total portfolio, and 0 0 27%
b) Office space per head of population 0 0 9.3 sq. m.
all calculations of space based on GIA.
5A.2 Office space as a percentage of total
floor space in operational office 0 0 31%
buildings using NIA.
5A.3 a) The number of office or operational
buildings shared with other public 0 0 3
b) The percentage of office or
operational buildings shared with 0 0 21%
5B.1 Average office floor space per number
of staff in office based teams (NIA per 0 0 Tbc
5B.2 Average floor space per workstation 0 0 8.5 sq. m.
5B.3 Annual property cost per workstation 0 0 Tbc
6A Gross Property Costs of the Tbc
operational estate as a % of the Gross 0 0
6B Gross Property Costs per square metre 0 0 Tbc
by CIPFA Categories/Types.
Time and Cost
7A Time Predictability, design: The
percentage of projects where the 0 0 N/A
actual time between Commit to Design
to Construct within, or not more than
5% above, the time predicted at
Commit to Design.
7B Time Predictability, Post-Contract: The
percentage of projects where the 0 0 N/A
actual time between Commit to
Construct and Available for Use is
within, or not more than 5% above,
the time predicted at Commit to
7C Cost Predictability, Design: The
percentage of projects where the 0 0 N/A
actual cost at Commit to Construct is
within +/-5% of the cost predicted at
Commit to Design.
7D Cost Predictability, Post Contract: The
percentage of projects where the 0 0 N/A
actual cost at Available for Use is
within +/-5% of the cost predicted at
Commit to Construct.
*These figures exclude the data for the leisure properties as the Leisure
Management Operator is responsible for the payment of the utility bills.
Tbc - to be confirmed when data has been analysed.
24.4 Whilst much of the data only acquires real meaning when compared with that for
other relevant organisations, the following points should be noted:
• Around 65% of the Council’s property holdings is in either a ‘poor’ or ‘bad’
• The level of required maintenance stands at around £1,373,000 over the next
five years which is £571,000 higher than the total maintenance expenditure in
2006/07. The physical condition of the operational and non-operational
properties (including car parks and industrial units) have been re-assessed.
• The Council will require a strategy that sets out in detail how it proposes to
reduce the level of required maintenance to zero;
• As reported above, the Council is taking steps to address the suitability of its
property holdings; however, part of this work has already been completed for
the non-operational property portfolio;
• The Council should strive to achieve the widely recognised good practice
standard of a 70/30 split between planned and reactive maintenance
• The Council’s operational properties will be re-assessed for compliance with the
Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and good practice guidelines including the
Building Regulations. The re-assessment work will revisit the operational
buildings and the Council is considering the accessibility issues relating to the
public conveniences as part of its capital improvement programme. The
Council’s car parks are being assessed for DDA compliance which is a key action
included in the Council’s Parking Strategy.
24.5 A number of local indictors are used for measuring the performance of the Council’s
property portfolio to ensure income from lettings is maximised and bad debt is kept
to a minimum. The Council’s performance, which is regularly monitored by
Members of the Overview & Scrutiny Panels, is set out in the Table below.
Measure 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09
Target Outturn Target Outturn Target Outturn
Maximise % of rent and
service charges 92% 96% 93% 92% 94% Tbc
Utilisation of industrial
units – maximise % 92% 97% 94% 93% 94% Tbc
occupancy rate of
industrial units at Town
Yard Business Park
24.6 The results in the Table show that the Council's performance for the targets against
25 Health and Safety
25.1 Health and Safety issues are of prime importance to the Council. Relevant staff will
liaise directly with the Councils Health and Safety Adviser on the implementation of
safety legislation, the maintenance of records and the “well being” of all council
employees, contractors, consultants and members of the public.
25.2 The Council also has a rolling programme of risk assessments of Council property and
these will identify prioritised issues under the Health and Safety at Work Act that
25.3 The Property Services staff work alongside the Council’s Health and Safety Adviser
on issues relating to fire safety, health and safety audits and risk assessments, civil
contingencies/emergency planning, developing and implementing property and
construction related policies and procedures. The Business Recovery Plan for the
Property Service is continually updated in line with the Council’s policy.
25.4 The Head of Property Services is a member of the Corporate Health & Safety Group,
Risk Management Group and provides advice with the Health and Safety Adviser on
specialist matters such as demolition works and the Construction, Design &
26 Statutory Testing and Certification
26.1 A wide range of statutory tests are undertaken and certificates obtained to ensure a
safe environment always exists. Inspection/test certificate requirements include:
• Electrical Installation i.e. fixed lighting and power circuits
• Fire Alarm and associated equipment
• Emergency lighting
• Lightning protection
• Hoist and harnesses
• Passenger and goods lifts
• Portable appliance test
• Public Entertainment Licences
• Fire fighting equipment
• Asbestos register
• Intruder alarms
• Gas supply systems including boilers and heaters
• Fire Certificates/Fire risk assessments
• Cemetery memorials
• Play areas including fixed equipment
• Energy Ratings for new and existing buildings
26.2 The majority of these issues are dealt with by service contracts based on competitive
tender which ensure that the required tests and certificates are carried out when
required, in a systemised way and at the best value. Remedial works identified are
then assessed and attended to in line with financial procurement regulations. The
Council intends to outsource most of this work to an external company in 2009.
26.3 Maintenance and conditions logging is also a requirement of our current insurers
and in order to defend claims they insist on written cyclical inspection regimes. For
this to be fully achieved additional resources are required.
26.4 A review of the current personnel assets and systems in place to meet the obligation
of two major statutory obligations, Asbestos and Legionella, is constantly being
reviewed to ensure the Council fully achieves its obligations. This review is being
extended to align the existing property health and safety policies to the new working
arrangements of the Strategic Alliance. Additional revenue funding has been
allocated to ensure the resource is available to fulfil the Council’s statutory
obligations in these areas.
27 Energy and Water Management
27.1 The Council is committed to reducing its impacts upon climate change. As part of
this commitment, the Council has identified transport, travel, energy utility
procurement and efficiency savings as key areas for review and improvement.
27.2 The government has introduced new national performance indicators on climate
change which include NI 185 – CO2 reduction from local authority operations
(including outsourced services). This includes emissions from business travel. Any
reductions in the Council’s CO2 emissions will contribute towards a second national
indicator NI 186 – reduction in per capita CO2 emissions per local authority area.
27.3 The Council has been re-accredited under the National Energy Efficiency
Accreditation Scheme. The Scheme is operated by the Carbon Trust who has overall
responsibility for the scheme and the co-ordination of marketing and future
development. Re-accreditation, which was awarded in October 2007, will run for
27.4 Re-accreditation has been achieved through the Council meeting a set of standards
which were appraised by an independent assessor and moderator. The re-
assessment demonstrates the Council’s commitment and achievement in three main
• Management commitment to energy efficiency;
• Investment in energy efficiency measures; and
• A record of progressive improvement in energy efficiency.
27.5 The Council’s performance on energy consumption and carbon reduction, using
2004/05 as the base year, is shown in the Table below. The results show a year on
year improvement against the base year.
Electricity Gas Oil Total % Emissions
kWh kWh kWh kWh Savings CO2 tonnes
2004/05 3,100,485 11,728,779 233,297 15,062,561 0.00 3,646
2005/06 2,981,346 10,924,208 93,421 13,998,975 7.06 3,402
2006/07 2,921,692 10,710,688 77,427 13,709,807 8.98 3,331
2007/08 2,549,575 10,804,465 169,383 13,523,423 10.22 3,192
27.6 The Medium Term Financial Plan includes efficiency saving targets in respect of
energy costs of £20,000 split over the financial years 2009/10 and 2010/11. The
primary focus of this efficiency target is by way of “reduced consumption” through
improvements through basic housekeeping. However, a proportion of the savings
target will be met through effective measures by procuring energy through the
Eastern Shires Purchasing Organisation.
27.7 The Council’s budget for energy costs for 2009/10 is £173,320. This includes
£141,980 for electricity and £31,340 for gas. The Council uses a small quantity of gas
oil to heat the boiler plant at Fowlchurch Depot in Leek. The energy costs for the
Councils’ leisure centres are excluded from the energy costs as these are procured
directly by the Council’s Leisure Management Operator.
27.8 A plan of action has been agreed with the Efficiency Working Group for achieving
further reductions in energy consumption. This will be done through adopting
energy efficiency good housekeeping practice recommended by the Carbon Trust.
27.9 A dedicated energy software package is used to record the actual meter readings of
the Council’s property portfolio. Staff within the Property Services Team have been
given training on the monitoring and targeting of energy improvements for the
Council’s buildings. All energy and water consumption is regularly monitored and
consumption benchmarked against other authorities and national targets or
27.10 An Energy Policy and strategy is in place and the Corporate Director and Monitoring
Officer is the Council’s nominated Energy Champion. The Council’s caretakers have
day-to-day responsibility for ensuring the Council’s heating plant and controls and
lighting systems are maintained and operated effectively and efficiently.
27.11 Initiatives have also been taken to identify water savings and refunds. A specialist
company has been retained to carry out an audit of water services across the
Council’s buildings. The report produced was very comprehensive and contained
details of cost savings, payback periods and capital expenditure required. Most of
the actions recommended have been implemented which has resulted in revenue
savings and refunds in some cases. The report also recommended the fitting of
water saving devices in some of the public toilets located in very busy tourist
locations. Data is being assembled from the utility bills to record and compare the
water consumption for all operational properties.
27.12 The Council recognises the importance of sustainable buildings. Consequently when
maintenance or capital works are undertaken and new plant and or equipment is to
be installed, a full evaluation is undertaken to see if any improvements to reduce
water, energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions can be achieved in a cost
27.13 The purchase of energy will be continually reviewed to ensure that optimum benefit
is achieved both in terms of cost and benefit to the environment.
27.14 The purchase of ‘green energy’ from suppliers using renewable sources is a priority
in order to ensure that the Councils aim to reduce carbon dioxide emission levels is
achieved in line with the approved Energy Policy and Energy Accreditation
guidelines. A contract has a contract with Scottish and Southern Energy for the
supply of “Green” energy to thirty one Council buildings.
27.15 The Council is complying with its obligations under SI 2007: 991 The Energy
Performance of Buildings (Certificates and Inspections) (England and Wales) 2007.
Display Energy Certificates (DECs) have been displayed in those Council buildings
requiring an energy certificate. The DECs, which are placed in a prominent place
clearly visible to the public, show the energy performance of the building based on
actual energy consumption taken over the last three years. Each DEC has been
provided with an advisory report about the building. The Council will work towards
improving standards of energy rating in cases where buildings are assessed as having
a low energy rating.
27.16 The Council has achieved certification to the ISO 14001 standard for its
environmental management system [EMS] in August 2007. A full year audit has now
been completed and a plan of action has been agreed for improvement. Targets
have been set against those service areas involved with the process. Details of the
actions for the Property Service Section are included in the Asset Management
Delivery Plan 2009/10.
28 Maintenance and Budgets
28.1 Facilities are regularly inspected to produce a maintenance plan. This provides a
programme for maintenance that is reviewed and updated annually. The estimated
backlog of maintenance is reported to the Council annually through the Asset
28.2 New legislation as it arises will have an effect on budgets, as compliance will often
require additional capital input to support the repairs and maintenance budgets.
Recent examples include the Disability Discrimination Act, Control of Asbestos at
Work Act, Legionella etc.
28.3 Backlog or required maintenance is reported annually across the portfolio and
represents the total value of works required under these priorities, which is
outstanding or required to bring the portfolio back to a good condition. This
maintenance is prioritised and bids are made against both the revenue and capital
programmes to secure funding. The condition survey is used to inform the budget
setting process. This in turn is used to set the parameters for the annual repair and
28.4 A copy of the Council’s capital programme 2008/09 to 2011/12 is enclosed as
Appendix B. A Maintenance Investment Programme is being produced and will be
presented to CAG and the Executive for approval in due course.
28.5 A series of property reviews by geographical area has been used to identify surplus
assets in accordance with the Councils property and disposal guidance so that the
backlog can be reduced by disposal within the portfolio. A further property review
has been carried out for the non-operational property portfolio and a summary of
findings is set out later on in the strategy.
28.6 Several large assets representing a significant portion of the backlog maintenance
figure is on sites identified as part of the Affordable Housing Scheme. Upon
determination of the future of this scheme, the disposal of these assets will show a
noticeable improvement in the reported figures of backlog maintenance. Should
these building be required to be brought back into mainline use, an equally
significant capital investment would be required due to their current “moth-balled”
28.7 It is clear that within its initial resources that the Council has a challenge to meet its
maintenance demands and there is a need to focus on some of the issues required
to meet this gap. In particular, resources, both human and fiscal, would be required
with a parallel overview of assets to ensure that only assets required for service
delivery are kept and prioritised, and that innovative procedures are set up to
reallocate the commitments e.g. Trusts, transfers and partnerships. The additional
revenues created by the sale of assets would potentially be a source of additional
funding for reinvestment into the remaining stock.
29 Property Review/Underused and Surplus Property
29.1 The authority has the opportunity of working in collaboration with both the public
and private sector to bring about physical regeneration and development of a
number of sites within the Staffordshire Moorlands. As part of the asset
management process, the Council will seek to carry out property reviews where
appropriate in order to improve service delivery and the performance of the
29.2 During the past few years, the Council has carried out integrated reviews of its
property holdings in the three towns in the district. The initial drivers of the three
reviews were space utilisation and co-location with partners which resulted in the
generation of a number of positive outcomes.
29.3 The Council has been working with the District Valuer Service to review and
challenge the non-operational property portfolio. This was one of the key
recommendations arising from the final round of fieldwork studies carried out by
29.4 Non-operational assets comprise various types of land and buildings which are
owned by the District Council but are not used in direct provision of its services.
29.5 The findings from the review include:
Victoria Business Park, Biddulph
29.6 Victoria Business Park, which is owned by the Council, comprises 9.89 hectares of
serviced development land. Serviced plots on the site are being offered for sale on
long leases and part of the site has been developed into high quality business units.
The Council is working in partnership with Advantage West Midlands to market the
site. There is interest from businesses/companies wishing to locate onto the
29.7 It is intended that the site will remain in the Council’s property portfolio to assist
with the creation of employment and regeneration of Biddulph Town Centre and the
surrounding area. The sale of the serviced plots will generate a capital receipt.
Land off Lawton Street, Biddulph
29.8 The freehold interest of the land is owned by the Council and there is a ground lease
to a tenant. The site area extends to 0.072 hectares and the ground lease generates
a rental income which is due for review.
29.9 It is intended that the site will remain with the Council and the rent reviewed.
Land off Wharf Road, Biddulph
29.10 Formerly a depot site, the land is owned partly by the District Council and partly by
the County Council. The District Council has ground leases with two tenants. The
Council has reviewed the total site area and decided to purchase the County
Council’s interest. Terms have been agreed for the acquisition and then the residual
interest in the site will be sold to companies wishing to locate on the edge of the
29.11 It has been decided that the District Council will assemble the entire site to assist
with business relocation as part of the Biddulph Area Action Plan.
Land off Tunstall Road, Biddulph
29.12 The site is more commonly known as ‘Newpool Meadows’. The Council’s freehold
interest in the site, combined with an adjacent plot owned by Staffordshire County
Council, is one of four sites which has been identified for the Council’s affordable
housing project. Planning permission for development was granted in October 2006
but the scheme is waiting the outcome of a Village Green public inquiry to be
29.13 The District Council is working with Moorlands Housing/Harvest Housing Group and
a preliminary review has been carried out of the potential sites held by both
organisations which suggest capacity in excess of 600 units of which around two
thirds relate to Council sites.
29.14 The Council has decided to retain the land for the delivery of its affordable housing
Land off Congleton Road, Biddulph
29.15 The site is owned by the Council and fronts the main Congleton Road. Two sections
of the site have already been sold to neighbouring property owners. A large portion
of the site is leased to the Town Council as public allotments.
29.16 It is proposed that the land be considered for rent or disposal.
Public Toilets, Craigside, Biddulph
29.17 The toilets are owned by the Council but have been closed to the public as a result of
an earlier property review. The site is scheduled to be redeveloped by Sainburys for
a retail food store as part of the Biddulph Area Action Plan.
29.18 The former toilet block has been declared surplus to requirements and a sale is
Properties at 36 – 48 High Street, Biddulph
29.19 The buildings are owned by the Council but leased to a supermarket chain. Again,
the site is scheduled to be redeveloped by Sainburys for a retail food store as part of
the Biddulph Area Action Plan.
29.20 The properties have been declared surplus to requirements and a sale of these
assets is imminent.
Public Toilets, Tunstall Road, Knypersley, Biddulph
29.21 The toilets are owned by the Council but have been closed to the public as a result of
an earlier property review. This property has been declared surplus to requirements
and terms have been agreed for the asset to be sold.
29.22 The former toilet block has been declared surplus to requirements and a sale is
Former Depot Site, Allen Street, Cheadle
29.23 The Council owns the freehold interest in this site. It is one of four sites which has
been identified for the Council’s affordable housing project. Planning permission for
development was secured in October 2006. The site has been retained for
development as part of the Council’s affordable housing project.
29.24 The Council has decided to retain the land for the delivery of its affordable housing
Land off Ashbourne Road, Cheadle
29.25 The site lies between the Council’s Leisure Centre and the main Ashbourne Road.
The site is a vacant parcel of land and has been identified as a site for additional
parking and a new access road to serve the leisure centre.
29.26 The land has been included as part of the development proposals for the Cheadle
Sports Village which is a Council corporate project being supported by the Football
29.27 It has been decided that the land will be retained and developed as part of the
Domestic Garages at Bramley Close, Cheadle
29.28 The garages were originally built to serve the Council housing in Bramley Close.
However, the site was retained by the Council following the housing transfer in 2001.
29.29 It is proposed that the site will be developed to provide vehicular access to the
proposed affordable housing development at the adjacent depot site off Allen
29.30 Most of the garages are now vacant with leases not being renewed in preparation of
the affordable housing scheme.
29.31 It has been decided that the property asset will be retained and redeveloped as part
of the affordable housing project.
Former Council Offices, Leek Road, Cheadle
29.32 The former Council Offices were built in the 1930s for Cheadle Rural District Council.
Following a move of the office staff to Cheadle Council Connects in the High Street,
the building is no longer used by the Council.
29.33 Part of the building is leased to the Social services department but a recent re-
organisation has resulted in part of the building becoming vacant.
29.34 Staffordshire Police have expressed an interest in purchasing the site, with the
intention of developing a new police station. Local opposition to this proposal has
resulted in the Council deciding that the building shall remain in Council ownership.
29.35 The building is presently being marketed for rent and alternative uses of the existing
building are being explored.
29.36 The Council has decided to retain the building and offer the surplus on the market to
Former Planning Hut, Leek Road, Cheadle
29.37 A pre-fabricated building at the rear of the former Council Offices is leased out to
third parties. The Council has decided to retain this building and continue to let the
29.38 The Council has decided to retain the building for the foreseeable future.
Disused Building, Leek Road, Cheadle
29.39 A small pre-fabricated building at the rear of the former Council which is unused and
unfit for occupation.
29.40 The building could be considered for use as storage.
Domestic Garages at Allen Street, Cheadle
29.41 The lock-up garages are within the curtilage of the Leisure Centre and are used for
the storage of equipment. The storage units are used by the leisure operator.
29.42 It is proposed that the garages remain until the site is required for redevelopment
Public Toilets, High Street, Cheadle
29.43 The toilets are owned by the Council but have been closed to the public as a result of
an earlier property review. This asset had been retained for future service use but
there appears to be no alternative Council use to which the property may be put.
29.44 The former toilet block should be considered as surplus to operational requirements
and offered on the open market for rent.
Cheadle Council’s Connect, 15A – 17 High Street, Cheadle
29.45 Located off the High Street in Cheadle Town Centre, the asset is owned by the
District Council but occupied by Staffordshire County Council for the delivery of One