Agenda item

Agenda item

Asset Management Strategy

At its meeting on 15 December Cabinet will consider the Asset Management Strategy report. Jane Winfield, Head of Corporate Property and Mike Scott, Senior Asset Manager, will be available to present the report and answer questions.

The Panel is recommended to NOTE the report, having raised any questions it may have and having AGREED any recommendations to make to Cabinet arising therefrom.



Mike Scott, Senior Estates Surveyor, presented to the Panel the Cabinet report on the Asset Management Strategy, supported by Emma Gubbins, Senior Estates Surveyor.

The Strategy would cover the next 10 years, a change in approach from previously, where the Council had had five year plans. The key difference would be that the new arrangements would allow delineation between strategic objectives, and the plans how to achieve those objectives, enabling the Council to have a more flexible and dynamic approach. In terms of its contents, the strategy engaged with new issues, such as the impacts of Covid on the commercial property market, but was generally an evolution from previous iterations. An investment of £20m in regenerative activities would help dilute the Council’s high concentration of property within the retail sector. Another issue more prominent in the Strategy compared to previous documents was the activity of the Council in seeking to address the Climate Emergency. Cost-wise, the Strategy was already included within the Medium Term Financial Plan, meaning the costs formed part of the Council’s existing budget.

Issues discussed by the Panel in response to the report presented included; exploring issues around alternative diversification possibilities, particularly housing and logistics; the importance of integration of biodiversity into projects rather than just including it in designated sites; noting the value of taking a policy view on whether to support boats as homes in the City in order to maximise the utility of the Council’s waterway assets; the comparative attractiveness of the city centre as a shopping destination; the level of resource available for the implementation of the Strategy, and the degree of cross-working between Council departments to deliver it and the issues arising from the need to work within the constraints of the Local Plan.

Discussion was held by the Panel over the importance to the Council’s net zero ambitions of phasing out gas use over the medium to long term. The Panel was in agreement with the Asset Management Strategy, which stated in s 7.4 that ‘The Council’s strategic response to these challenges are not to be seen as ‘nice to have’ but as ‘must have’ if it is to deliver on our carbon goals for our operational property assets, as set out in our Carbon Management Plan.’ Given this importance, the Panel felt that the phasing out of gas use in the medium to long term was sufficiently strategic as to warrant inclusion within the Asset Management Strategy. The Panel AGREED to make the following recommendation to Cabinet:

That the Council includes within the Strategy a commitment to working towards phasing out the use of gas within its non-domestic properties over the medium to long term.



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