Agenda item

Council Estate

To consider the attached update presentation for the council estate.


Neil Corbett, Assistant Director of Asset Management & Property Services, attended the meeting by remote access to give a presentation on the Council’s Estate.


To view the full presentation, please refer to the link here


Forming part of the presentation, members attention was drawn to the Council’s Corporate Asset Management Plan 2019-2024. Approved by Cabinet on 24 April 2019, the plan sets out key objectives and supporting principles adopted to manage the council’s estate. To view the asset management plan, please refer to the link here


Outlining some of the key initiatives undertaken following approval of the plan, members were advised of the following achievements: -


·         £117m Capital Receipts achieved since 2011

·         3.977m One Public Estate Grant Funding to support One Gloucestershire

·         Estate initiatives

·         Agile Working Programme and creation of Locality Hubs

·         Re-purposing of existing buildings for service use

·         Quayside House Development (relocation of two GP practices and a Pharmacy)

·         Creation of New Schools: High School, Leckhampton, Brook Academy, Brockworth and acquisition of site for a new primary school at Bishops Cleeve

·         Gloucestershire Care Partnership Strategy

·         Land acquisitions for the M5 Junction 10 Improvement Scheme


Forming part of the Council Strategy 2022-26, (Building Back Better in Gloucestershire), members noted some of the Council’s further ambitions from which to maximise use of the Council Estate, including the continued modernisation and improvement to the Shire Hall complex to make the building accessible, fit for purpose and more suitable for agile working. It was confirmed that the Council, in conjunction with business partners, continued to proactively seek ways to reduce the council’s carbon footprint and increase renewable energy generation.


Specific actions and requests for information raised at the meeting included: -


      i.        No decisions had been made on the future use of the current library building located on Brunswick Road, Gloucester. Pending discussions with Gloucester City Council, details on the decision to be shared with members. Action by - Assistant Director of Asset Management & Property Services


    ii.        A member requested improvements to political group rooms and external areas adjacent to Shire Hall form part of site modernisation programme.


   iii.        It was agreed members would be provided with locality maps to identify estate buildings and key work within their divisions. Action by - Assistant Director of Asset Management & Property Services


   iv.        Questioning the pace at which the council’s climate change strategy was being applied to estate buildings, including new schools, members were informed that the Council was doing all it could to progress the work. It was explained that each building required a fundamental review of its carbon footprint and that the process could be complex and lengthy.


    v.        An Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Climate Change Officer had recently been appointed to consider solar renewables and climate change issues on the corporate estate. 


   vi.        A member asked that the council consider the storage/re-use of batteries as part of its climate change strategy.


  vii.        Another member suggested an all member briefing be arranged to advise members of the plans for schools located on the council estate. The suggestion was noted. Action by – Democratic Services


 viii.        Responding to questions on local issues, including the refurbishment of the Magistrates Court at Cheltenham, members were asked to submit any questions relating to their divisions in writing to allow the Assistant Director and the Property Services Team to respond in detail.


   ix.        Referring to a recent visit to Wotton Lawn Hospital by the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, the Chair of the Committee informed members that at the visit there had been reports of delays in patient discharge from the hospital due to a lack of available accommodation following discharge. The matter was suggested as an item for consideration by the Adult Social Care and Communities Scrutiny Committee with agreement that the issue be considered for inclusion on the committee work plan. Action by – Democratic Services 


    x.        In response to a request for officers to consider occupancy levels at Shire Hall and best use of space, it was explained that Phase 1 of the placing and relocation of teams within Shire Hall had not yet completed and that occupancy levels were still being monitored. Work was ongoing and progress was being made, including work with district authorities.


   xi.        During the discussion, a member asked if the locations of teams could be shared with members to make it more accessible for councillors to meet with officers. The request was noted, with agreement that the matter be followed up with members outside of the meeting. Action by – Director for Policy, Performance & Governance


The report was noted.

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