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