Agenda item

DRAFT Corporate Property Strategy

Minutes:

The Chair began the item by alluding to the previous Scrutiny Assets Task and Finish Group from two years ago.  This she said had been a frustrating experience and so she was therefore very pleased to see this Draft Strategy. 

 

The Director - Economy of Place said that the Strategy was on track to go to the March Cabinet meeting.  So, if Scrutiny Members wanted to feed into it would be helpful if they could let officers know in the next two weeks.  It was reiterated that there had been some resource issues in the past which had had an effect on the speed of progress in developing the Strategy.  The Director then introduced the new Head of Property to the Commission.

 

The Principal Corporate Property Officer summarised the published report but stressed this was still very much a draft document that they were also still consulting on it internally with officers.  There were to be some changes to it anyway, for example, the parks prospectus and carbon reduction targets.  Officers were keen to receive further comments from Members. 

 

A Member asked if the Council knows what property it owns.  Officers said yes they had a data-base that recorded all ownership.  This point had been raised at the previous meeting in September and officers had completed a spread-sheet which contained 35,000 property records.  However it needed to be noted that some assets had more than one record on the data-base.  Officers were happy to provide this to Members but it needed to decided how this happened as it was currently very large.  ACTION: Property officers to confirm how and when the information is made available to Members.

 

Officers confirmed that they have the required data on what property the Council owns but there are some gaps about the condition of some of the property which they are also working on. 

 

  • It was asked what happens to land that isn’t being built on and is no longer require, where does that sit now? Officers said that this sits with the Operational Property Team but developed land that has potential to be used but is not being used is categorised as ‘surplus land’.
  • It was confirmed that non Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and high streets are both also being looked at by officers across the Council such the Economic Development Team.
  • Members asked about the Corporate Landlord Model and how links to ‘Social Value’. Officers said this is the accepted way to work now i.e. it is the Governments preferred model.  Bristol still has some way to go before it is complaint.  A conversation was had about who should be consulted.   Officers said there is a process for local authorities to go through and new protocols and procedures will be a need to be introduced in some areas.
  • Members inquired about developments in the One Public Estate (OPE) programme as this was seen as important with regards to the disposal of land and property.  Officers said this was referenced in the draft Strategy under ‘Working with Partners’.  The Director reminded Members of the existence of the West of England Joint Assets Board and said this was an ongoing piece of work.
  • The Role of Members as ‘community leaders’ discussed and it was asked why they were not mentioned in the strategy. Officers said they would consider this point.  It was pointed out that on page 33 of Appendix 1: Surplus Property Procedure / Disposal of Property that it said details will be ‘circulatedto the relevant ward councillors’.   A Member suggested that it should also say ‘re-purposed’.  

 

The Chair thanked officers for their time and said the Draft Strategy was a welcome step forward.

 

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