69 Asset Disposal Programme to Support Growth PDF 193 KB
Report of The Cabinet Member for Housing and Property.
Purpose of the Report
To provide Cabinet with a proposed methodology to dispose of Council property assets for a range of purposes, including direct delivery of services, revenue generation and supporting corporate plan objectives.
1. Approves the sequential disposal methodology outlined in the report with regard to General Fund Asset disposals.
2. Delegates authority to the Director of Housing and Property, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Housing and Property, the Deputy Leader, Chief Executive, Section 151 Officer and Monitoring Officer, to dispose of General Fund assets up to a value of £2 million, exclusive of any applicable VAT, subject to legal and valuation advice.
Options considered and rejected
There was not currently a specific process for asset disposal so the methodology set out in the report recommended a way forward to ensure capital receipts could be generated in a timely manner.
No other options were considered.
Reasons for decision
In responding to the Council’s challenging budget position, the Authority was required to be innovative in how its property assets would be utilised to stimulate economic growth activity, attract investment and create income to support service delivery in keeping with the ambitions of the Corporate Plan 2020-2023.
The report set out principles and process that would ensure good governance and best value was achieved with regards to a programme of General Fund land and property disposals over the timescale of the Corporate Plan and Medium Term Financial Strategy. This would involve:
· Identifying assets for disposal
· Asset valuation
· Disposal and methods of disposal
· Officer delegation
It was reported that a review of the Council’s assets was underway in order to identify those which had strategic, operational or income generating potential.
Councillor Kelham Cooke, Leader of the Council, agreed that it was really important for the Council to use its role as an ambassador of the local economy to not only identify General Fund capital projects but also identify those assets which no longer served to benefit the Council’s residents or local businesses. Creating such a framework would assist the Council to set out those assets which could be transitioned to more beneficial projects whilst, in the interests of residents, provide necessary governance and ensure that schemes were fiscally prudent and responsible, limiting borrowing wherever possible. The framework aimed to prioritise best value in the Council’s land and property assets, assessing their contribution to the local economy and communities and would be measured via in-depth analysis on a case by case basis. It was important, however, to recognise that the Council needed to be commercially minded as well as fair in its appraisals.
Councillor Cooke highlighted recent examples whereby the Council had worked with Town and Parish Councils regarding assets the District Council held which had now been transitioned over, as Town and Parish Councils sought for more ownership and investment in their respective areas and their sense of ‘place’.