Three-year plan to ‘make the most’ out of council properties

Cabinet councillors yesterday (Monday, June 26) agreed a three-year plan for best management of the Council's property portfolio in the face of cuts in government support.
The new document outlines the council’s strategy and priorities for the non-residential property it owns up to 2020 and beyond. The year 2020 is when government support comes to an end after annual reductions in funding.
Councillor Bill Giles, Cabinet Lead for Finance, said: “By expanding our shared services with Eastbourne Borough Council, we are making significant year-on-year savings, however this is not enough in itself to meet our future financial challenges.
“As a result, it is imperative we make the most out of our property assets, by realising savings and generating income, while at the same time keeping uppermost in our minds the need to retain properties that are of strong value to the community.”
The Corporate Asset Management Plan focuses on four key areas: improving yield from the investment portfolio; reducing maintenance costs and liabilities; delivering efficiencies through smarter procurement; and increasing the capital value of the council’s asset base.
This is the first joint property document between Lewes District Council and Eastbourne Borough Council reflecting a shared vision and covering the management of the properties held by both authorities, although each council retains sovereignty over its own portfolio.
Cllr Giles continued: “We have a well-balanced property portfolio which is in generally good condition providing an income for the Council and giving local businesses the workspace they need for local employment and enterprise. However, we need a more focussed way to achieve a sustainable asset base by 2021 and this plan sets out the direction to achieve that through the efficient management of properties, improving their uses and fully unlocking their potential whilst improving their quality and value.”

Story published on 28 June 2017