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2 FOREWARD The Vale of Glamorgan is changing and it is important that the Council reshapes its services to meet the expectations of our citizens and customers. Property forms a vital part of supporting service delivery, and after our people, it is the largest cost to the Council. As such, it is essential that we optimise the use of property assets (particularly office accommodation) by having an integrated approach to property management that fully explores the interaction between people, property and technology. This will involve improving the use of buildings in order to reduce the amount of accommodation the Council occupies and working with partner organisations in seeking efficiencies. By doing this, we will be able to provide the right property in the right place to meet the challenges facing our services. In order to achieve this aim, property must be planned over the long term against clear corporate and service strategies. In this way its contribution to service delivery can be defined, opportunities for capital funding pursued, and property managed effectively. This strategy is the fruition of collaborative effort across the Council s departments, providing a vision and direction for the Council in improving its use of property and helping to reshape the way in which we deliver services. The Council s ambition is for the Vale to be a place of opportunity. We welcome the aim of matching that ambition with the provision of good quality properties to support the delivery of services to help individuals and communities achieve their full potential, in their work, their education, at home and in their social life. Councillor Neil Moore Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council

3 FOREWARD EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1. Introduction & Background 1 PART A CORPORATE PROPERTY STRATEGY 3 2. Corporate Plans & Priorities 3 3. Asset Management Strategy 26 PART B ASSET MANAGEMENT PLAN (DELIVERY) Data Management Condition and Performance of Assets Performance Management & Monitoring Key Issues and Areas for Change & Development Finance Capital Prioritisation Process Challenging the Effective Use of Property Review of Asset Management Action Plan Asset Management Action Plan APPENDICES 60 Appendix A - Asset Management Group Membership 60 Appendix B - Asset Management Group Terms of Reference 61 Appendix C - Property Office Case Study 63

4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Property assets including school buildings, community centres, leisure centres, residential homes, day centres, administrative offices, parks, housing and infrastructure etc are essential for delivering public services and enabling the Council to achieve its objectives as outlined in the Council s Corporate Plan. A report by the Wales Audit Office in June 2010 identified that the Welsh public sector uses land and building assets with a value of almost 12 billion (excluding housing). Of this, 8.5 billion is managed by local government. Across Wales, the condition of public sector land and buildings was viewed as generally poor with many organisations breaching some statutory health and safety requirements. The Vale of Glamorgan Council s Asset Management Plan seeks to address the issues raised in this report and to provide new initiatives and protocols intended to demonstrate the Council s continued commitment to good asset management and prudent use of capital resources. The corporate property objectives within the Corporate Asset Management Plan are: To manage Council assets to ensure that they comply with appropriate statutory, regulatory and corporate standards and are maintained to an appropriate level The Council will ensure that it has the procedures in place to ensure that all buildings within the estate comply with the necessary statutory, regulatory and corporate standards. The Council aims to maintain the properties to an adequate standard so that it maintains operational capability, ensures financial cost effectiveness, controls health & safety risks, provides security, maintains value of the assets, complies with contractual obligations and maintains the reputation of the Council. To promote a co-ordinated approach to asset management across the Council whereby key properties vital to service delivery are identified The Council will continue to utilise the service asset management planning process in conjunction with a property review, undertaken on an area basis, to optimise the use of its estate, ensuring that all properties are suitable, fit for purpose and support service delivery, reducing running costs and identifying opportunities to work with partners. To ensure efficient, effective and sustainable use of land and buildings The Council will aim to reduce energy consumption across its estate, and provides a co-ordinated approach to support the Carbon Reduction Plan. In order to meet the objective, the Council will implement energy saving initiatives, utilising SALIX funds wherever possible. Our key focus will be to ensure that properties are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. To participate in geographic and sector collaboration opportunities for sharing assets, with the overall aim of improving public services The Council will continue working with its Local Service Board partners and other local authorities to identify opportunities to maximise the use of the public estate, through property and service led initiatives. To develop an office accommodation strategy and to provide appropriate accommodation solutions to service needs Through the Space Project, the Council will aim to have the right people with the right skills in the right place at the right time to meet the challenges of the future. The Space Project will encompass people, property and technology to meet these challenges. The objective of this project is to ensure that the Council has good quality office accommodation in the right place to support service needs, ensure optimal use of the estate and reduce operational costs.

5 To ensure that all asset information held is in a user friendly form The Council will utilise the Institute of Public Finance (IPF) Asset Management software system to its fullest extent ensuring that all property related information is readily accessible to service users. To review the Corporate Asset Management Plan on an annual basis The Council is undertaking a number of initiatives that will have an impact on the property portfolio, including; Extra Care Provision The Council is aiming to facilitate new extra care facilities with the aim of keeping residents living in their own home, with the necessary support to facilitate this. In the long term this is likely to reduce reliance on care/nursing homes. Leisure Centres The Council is seeking to appoint a management contractor to operate the leisure centres across the Vale, with the aim of improving service delivery and sustainability of the service. Historic Properties The Council is in the process of leasing two major historic properties within the Vale to external parties, namely, Dyffryn House and Penarth Pier to National Trust and Penarth Arts & Crafts Limited respectively. This should improve the viability of the two properties and allow investment to be undertaken to ensure that they are fully utilised for the benefit of the residents. Central South Education Consortium The Council is progressing with plans for a Regional School Improvement Service in conjunction with Cardiff, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr and Bridgend Councils. The current proposal is to utilise the existing Education and School Improvement Service (ESIS) building in Rhondda Cynon Taff to house the service. Schools Strategic Investment Plans The Council has developed plans for the replacement of St Cyres Comprehensive School and the three Special Schools in the Vale on one site in Penarth, the Penarth Learning Community. Further plans for Llantwit Major Comprehensive School and Welsh Medium learning in Barry will be progressed over forthcoming years. Joint Working The Council has formed partnerships with other councils to explore opportunities of working together, for example the joint Audit service, which operates from Bridgend Council premises. Social Services are collaborating with the University Health Board and Cardiff Councils on various projects, who are occupying space within each others buildings to improve outcomes and benefit from efficiency savings. These collaborations may have future property implications.

6 1. Introduction and Background 1.1 Introduction The Plan represents a high level Corporate Asset Management Plan (CAMP) produced for the Vale of Glamorgan Council, in line with the Corporate Plan (CR7). In conjunction with the Capital Investment Strategy, it provides the strategic framework for how the Council will manage its property. This plan revises and updates the previous plans which were approved in 2006 and It sets out the following key areas: the context for the Vale of Glamorgan; links with the Council s key Corporate Plans; corporate property objectives; roles and responsibilities within the asset management framework; stakeholders; data management; condition and performance of assets; performance management and monitoring; key issues and areas for change and development; finance including generating capital receipts; the capital prioritisation process; challenging the effective use of property. This updated plan reflects changes and issues since the last plan (2010), outlines progress on the key objectives and addresses opportunities for further improvement in the asset management process. In addition, this plan seeks to address the issues raised in the Grant Thornton Audit report dated December 2011: 1. Evaluate assets in terms of how they contribute to corporate priorities. This should drive the CAMP. 2. Document the Council's current property portfolio, detailing the property required and the property that can be released, following the completion of the SPACE project and the implementation of recommendation one. 3. Work with partners to develop a shared database that can inform a wider debate across the area regarding how the use of public sector assets can be optimised. 4. Set performance targets for asset management, in order to assess and monitor the value for money achieved (please refer to the Audit Commission report 'Room for Improvement' if further guidance is required). Page 1

7 5. Take steps to ensure that the right data is collected, in the right way and at the right time to ensure that consistent and high quality data is collected, to support the performance management arrangements referred to in recommendation Conduct meaningful, external benchmarking to allow the Council to better understand how it performs and where there is scope for improvement. 7. Prepare a Land and Buildings Strategy that supports the corporate asset management plan and agree mechanisms to monitor its implementation. 8. Introduce capital charges to ensure that the costs of assets are understood by service managers and the costs to the service appropriately recognised. 1.2 Background The Vale of Glamorgan Council was established in 1996 as a unitary authority, and it is Wales most southern authority, bounded to the north by the M4 motorway and to the south by the Severn estuary. It covers 33,097 hectares, approximately 89% of which designated as rural, and there are 53 kilometres of coastline, 19 kilometres of which are designated as Heritage Coast. The 2001 Census identified a population of 119,277 however, based on the latest mid-year estimate (2010), the population of the Vale is 124,976, the majority of whom still live within the principal urban areas of Barry, Dinas Powys, Penarth, Cowbridge and Llantwit Major. This number is expected to rise by 0.75% each year to The estimated number of households in the Vale is 52,818 (2008 estimate); however, this will continue to grow, to an expected 62,702 households by The age profile of the Vale s population is also expected to change; the number of children (age 0-14) is forecast to rise from 22,650 in 2008 to 24,885 in 2023 whilst the number of people aged 65+ will increase from 22,119 in 2008 to 31,413 in Using the WG LA Population projections the projected age profile is expected to change. The number of children (aged 0-15) is predicted to rise from 24,388 in 2008 to 25,500 in 2021, an increase of 1.04%, whilst the number of people aged 65+ is predicted to increase by 36% from 22,046 in 2008 to 30,027 in The unemployment rate in the Vale was 3.9% in November Within the Vale the highest rates were found in Barry, particularly in the wards of Castleland (8.6%), Gibbonsdown (6.4%), Court (7.5%), Cadoc (6.2%) and Buttrills (6.0 %). Employment is characterised by a high proportion of people in the service sector. Compared with the rest of South East Wales, the Vale has a lower proportion of manufacturing jobs and a higher proportion in distribution, hotels and catering. The armed forces and the aero industry (Cardiff International Airport lies within the boundaries of the Vale of Glamorgan) also generate considerable economic activity. Although there is significant outflow of workers to neighbouring authorities, particularly Cardiff. Page 2

8 PART A: CORPORATE PROPERTY STRATEGY 2. Corporate Plans and Priorities 2.1 Corporate Goals and Objectives The corporate goals and objectives of the Council are set out in the Corporate Plan. This provides a frame work for action over the period 2010 to 2014, based upon the overall vision for the Vale as a place: that is safe, clean and attractive, where individuals and communities have opportunities to improve their health, prosperity and well-being; where there is a strong sense of community in which local groups and individuals have the capacity and incentive to make an effective contribution to the future of the area. 2.2 The Corporate Planning Framework The Council s key plans consist of the following: Community Strategy Corporate Plan Improvement Plan and Regulatory Plan Medium Term Financial Plan & The Capital Investment Strategy Service Plans The Community Strategy and the Corporate Plan provide the high level strategic direction within which the frontline and support services set their respective plans. The planning framework is designed to allow for a coherent and two-way connection between overall strategy and the strategic deployment of resources to meet operational objectives. It also provides the framework for the definition of role profiles of all staff, and for the measurement of their performance. The Community Strategy has been developed by the Council in conjunction with its partners to provide a more co-ordinated approach to delivering services to the people of the Vale and identifies ten key priority outcomes, under headings including: Improving Community Engagement Improving Access to Services Promoting Sustainability Valuing Older People Children & Young People Learning & Skills Regeneration Community Safety Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Page 3

9 The Corporate Plan seeks to address the issues highlighted in the Community Strategy, specifically in the areas where the Council has a direct responsibility for service provision. The seven priorities are Community Leadership, Children & Young People, Lifelong Learning & Skills, Health, Social Care & Wellbeing, Community Safety, Regeneration and Corporate Resources. In particular, the Corporate Resource priority includes an Improvement Objective (no. 33) to make best use of our assets and to procure good, sustainable services and facilities. The Council has produced a Medium Term Financial Plan, which links the Council s strategic planning process with the budget process and to ensure consistency between them. As such, it forms an integral part of the Authority s corporate framework for performance management, and should, therefore, be considered in the context of the core values and priorities set out in the Council s five-year Corporate Plan The longer-term nature of the Corporate Plan has, in itself, necessitated a move away from a focus on traditional annual budgets to that of a rolling Medium Term Financial Plan. The Medium Term Financial Plan is, therefore, a mechanism that attempts to: identify the main financial implications resulting from the increased pressure falling upon Council services including pay and price inflation, legislative and demographic changes and implementing Council priorities as identified in the Corporate Plan; estimate the financial resources that will be available to the Council to meet these demands; match the predicted expenditure and resources and identify and appraise options to enable a financial strategy to be devised and implemented to address the position over the life of the plan; provide the framework to produce the budget strategy for the next financial year. The Corporate Planning Framework is shown at above. Page 4

10 G. to The CAMP sits between the strategic and operational service planning levels, and alongside the Council s corporate financial planning function. Both property assets and people are key corporate resources. The Plan identifies a number of actions to meet these priorities. The original plan of 2010 has been reviewed and the actions are being updated to reflect recent achievements, new developments and the availability of resources. The Council will develop a Property Strategy within the next 6 months (as identified on the diagram previously) to support the CAMP. The Capital Investment Strategy is directly linked to the CAMP and key processes in both include disposal planning and spending information. 2.3 Organisational Framework The Council is organised into five directorates, namely Policy and Resources, Social Services, Education & Skills, Development Services and Visible Services & Housing. Responsibility for Asset Management Planning will lie within the Policy and Resources Directorate highlighting the Council s recognition of the need for the corporate management of these strategic resources. In October 2011, the Council appointed a Principal Officer to prepare and implement the asset management plan. The Corporate Asset Management Group (CAMG) is a cross directorate group with aims to provide the strategic focus for dealing with accommodation and property issues within the Council and provide the route through which property issues are considered corporately. It is also responsible for recommendations on the annual capital programme and approval of property acquisitions and internal accommodation moves. The Terms of Reference of the Group is attached as Appendix B. 2.4 Corporate Property Objectives The corporate property objectives within the CAMP focus on seven priorities, which aim to meet the Corporate Plan Improvement Objective 33 to make best use of our assets and to procure good, sustainable services and facilities: A. to manage Council assets to ensure that they comply with appropriate statutory, regulatory and corporate standards and are maintained to an appropriate level; B. to ensure a co-ordinated approach to asset management across the authority whereby core properties vital to service delivery are identified (including to undertake a property area review process to challenge asset performance in terms of need, utilisation and cost); C. to ensure efficient, effective and sustainable use of land and buildings; D. to participate in a range of geographic and sector collaboration opportunities for sharing assets, with the overall aim of improving public services; E. to develop an office accommodation strategy and to provide appropriate accommodation solutions to service needs; F. to ensure that all asset information held is in a user friendly form; and review the CAMP on an annual basis. Page 5

11 Property Objective A To manage Council assets to ensure that they comply with appropriate statutory, regulatory and corporate standards and are maintained to an appropriate level Why is this important? Councils have a duty to ensure that buildings under their control comply with appropriate statutory, regulatory and corporate standards. They regularly face challenges in terms of their ability to control and manage what goes on in buildings which are used by staff or clients for which they have legal responsibility. There are a wide range of Health and Safety responsibilities that fall on building owners and occupiers. They need to establish compliance monitoring to ensure that issues such as financial loss, damage and subsequent legal proceedings are avoided. It is important that the Council s buildings are maintained to an appropriate standard to ensure that: operational capability is maintained and service delivery improved where possible; maintenance solutions are cost effective in whole-life terms and reflect the Council s sustainability policies (effective use of planned maintenance should reduce the need for reactive maintenance); risks to health and safety are controlled; the security of premises are maintained; the reputation of the Council is maintained; the market value of the asset is preserved in accordance to its priority assigned in the CAMP and contractual liabilities are met. How are we going to achieve this objective? The Council has established a Compliance Group, consisting of representatives from Property Services, Building and Vehicle Services, Corporate Health and Safety and Training and Development, to co-ordinate a corporate approach across all premises. The Group will provide quarterly reports on progress to the CAMG. The Group meets on a bi-monthly basis to discuss premises related issues such as the ones listed below: Control of Asbestos Legionella Fire Safety Lifts Electrical Safety (portable appliance testing, emergency lighting testing, periodic fixed installation electrical certificates) The Council have developed a Premise Manager Training Course, which is currently being piloted within Social Services, to raise awareness of their responsibilities for ensuring compliance with statutory obligations are undertaken. Page 6

12 The Council will develop a maintenance strategy, to ensure that all properties are maintained to an appropriate standard and that the limited resources are used in the most effective way. The Council will prepare condition surveys for all premises to provide the necessary data to inform the maintenance strategy and to ensure that buildings remain fit for purpose in the long term to support service delivery. The condition surveys will be undertaken on a rolling five year programme. The condition survey will rate individual buildings, based on an A D rating as detailed below. Grade A Grade B Grade C Grade D Long Term Repairs i.e. over 5 years Desirable Repairs i.e. within 3 to 5 years Essential Repairs i.e. within 2 years Urgent Repairs to prevent immediate closure The new format for condition surveys developed in 2009, following a review of the format in 2005, includes a compliance section. This uses a traffic light warning system, covering aspects ranging from air conditioning systems to working at height, eye bolts and cradles. Areas that have been highlighted indicate that the properties are: compliant being progressed by the compliance section non compliant item is not applicable Property Objective B To ensure a co-ordinated approach to asset management across the authority whereby core properties vital to service delivery are identified Why is this important? The Council has finite resources and has to make difficult decisions where to allocate its finances. It is therefore vital that the limited funds that are made available are directed at properties where a clear service benefit is obtained and that value for money is achieved. How are we going to achieve this objective? By having all service areas represented on the CAMG (which meets on a quarterly basis), the identification of key properties within service areas has been made easier. This forum, together with the Service Asset Management Plans (SAMPs) and the Office Accommodation Strategy will enable these buildings to be highlighted and future priorities in terms of maintenance agreed. Each of the service areas will also be consulted on an annual basis, to complete their own SAMPs. Data collected in these plans will include information relating to suitability, sufficiency and cost. Projected accommodation requirements linked to service delivery is also considered as part of this process. The SAMP pro forma will be reviewed to ensure that it is user friendly and contains the necessary information. Page 7

13 SAMPs will be used to inform a comprehensive review of the operational portfolio, with an assessment of suitability/sufficiency and condition surveys (as described in Objective A) being undertaken by the Property Department. The condition survey process will include consultation with the service areas/occupiers to discuss any condition related issues. The review will be on an area basis, utilising the three management areas identified in the Community Strategy, as detailed below: Barry Area Eastern Vale Central & Western Vale Ward Baruc Buttrills Cadoc Castleland Court Dyfan Gibbonsdown Illtyd Cornerswell Dinas Powys Llandough Plymouth St. Augustines Stanwell Sully Cowbridge Llandow/Ewenny Llantwit Major Peterson-super-Ely Rhoose St. Athan St. Brides Major Wenvoe The Property Area Review process will be both service and area based, and will include consultation with service areas and members to establish their views, as well as service users, where appropriate. The Council will consult with partner organisations so that the process is cross organisational (total place concept) to explore opportunities to collaborate or to co-locate. The suitability assessment is based on an A D grading, as detailed below, having regard to location, access to building, safety & security, space/layout, health & safety and overall image. Grade A Grade B Grade C Grade D Suitable - allows efficient service delivery Minor suitability issues - allows service delivery major suitability issues - hampers service delivery unsuitable - prevents efficient service delivery This factor, together with the Condition Survey detailed in Objective A, will be used to provide an overall grade based on the traffic light system detailed below. This will provide a comprehensive overview of the portfolio and the information will then be used to provide an overall rating for each building outlined in the property decision matrix and will assist with: optimising the utilisation of land and property regardless of service ownership ; reducing property running costs; contributing to future maintenance strategies (eg only carrying out essential repairs on buildings which will be surplus in future years and focussing any capital works on Page 8

14 buildings that will be retained and where the works will contribute to achieving the optimal use of the estate); identifying opportunities for improving service delivery; identifying opportunities where other organisations would be best served owning or managing the property (eg Dyffryn House and Leisure Centres); identifying the potential for generation of capital receipts; and identifying the potential for joint use internally and with external partners. Property Decision Matrix The chart below provides an indicative outline of the decision process, although other circumstances such as need and utilisation will also influence the rating. Good A Consider Additional Investment Priority Maintenance Continued Planned Maintenance Programme (Suitability Rating) Consider Additional Investment or Disposal Consider Change of Use and / or Additional Investment Review Current Usage Consider Disposal Consider Change of Use or Disposal Consider Change of Use D A Poor (Condition Rating) Good The other factors which may influence the categorisation of red, amber or green are shown below: Red A community building with the potential for community asset transfer No longer required due to changes in service strategy Amber May require adaptation works to achieve better utilisation Green May have scope for increased utilisation which could be achieved with minimum investment Low priority for immediate action Page 9

15 Whilst all property is currently held corporately with budgets devolved to services, there remains a service ownership culture with assets being perceived as being owned by specific services. This culture mitigates against effective asset management as cross-service and collaborative opportunities to optimise the portfolio through asset rationalisation, cost reduction or improved utilisation may be lost if a single service culture prevails. We will undertake a review of the current arrangements and look at alternative models that would be more effective in delivering a rationalised portfolio whilst improving service delivery through suitable and well maintained buildings. This review will consider issues such as how the Council: operates its property related budgets including maintenance and accommodation recharges (as outlined in the Grant Thornton Audit Report); and defines the respective responsibilities of the corporate support services. In addition, we will develop property acquisition protocols, whereby all requests for new accommodation or changes in utilisation of existing space are directed through the asset management function to ensure that a co-ordinated approach is adopted. This will assist in maximising value both in terms of finance and in meeting the Council s corporate aims and objectives. This protocol will consider: reason for acquisition (by service area); property search (to be undertaken by Asset Management/Estates, initially undertaking a review of property already in Council ownership/control, and only if deemed appropriate should a wider search of third party properties be undertaken); option appraisal (including an assessment on a whole life costing basis to establish the most cost effective options to provide a suitable building); and approval process (including referral to CAMG) The Acquisitions Protocol will review and amend the Office Moves and Vacant Space protocols. Property Objective C To ensure efficient, effective and sustainable use of land and buildings Why is this important? Maintaining and occupying land and buildings is expensive. By proper forward planning, opportunities can be sought to identify: energy saving initiatives within buildings opportunities to vacate areas such as existing leased, uneconomic or under utilised properties/land This could realise some financial savings, both one off and ongoing, which in turn could release funding for service delivery and other projects, and reduce the strategic risk identified in the risk register that the Council fails to maintain services at an acceptable standard in light of the reduced funding levels. How are we going to achieve this objective? The performance of land and buildings is monitored corporately by the Property Section, with inputs from the CAMG and the service areas. Page 10

16 Data collated from SAMPs, condition surveys, suitability/sufficiency assessments, space utilisation surveys and on energy use will be used to rank properties in terms of efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability, as outlined in Objective B. By working with the Energy Manager, the Sustainable Development Working Group (SDWG) and the Carbon Management Group, further initiatives can be developed aimed at reducing energy use, in addition to identifying funding streams to implement them. Energy The Council has an adopted Carbon Management Plan (2008), with the overall objective of reducing emissions by 20% by from a baseline calculated from the 2005/6 financial year. This is supported by the requirements of the Outcome Agreement and the Regeneration Framework 2009, which includes actions to develop energy reduction plans for all public sector buildings and to develop a carbon reduction awareness campaign for the Local Service Board (LSB) to champion and act as exemplars. The Council has incorporated the Carbon Management Plan objectives into the Corporate Plan ensuring this remains a priority across the various services. The Council has a typical buildings utility expenditure in the region of 3m per annum with an associated carbon emission of c. 13,000 tonnes from its operational buildings (2010/2011). The Council has worked to reduce its energy costs and carbon emissions through the introduction of the SALIX invest-to-save fund and the installation of various energy saving projects such as insulation works, installation of motorised swimming pool covers, lighting controls and higher efficiency lighting equipment, voltage optimisation and the implementation of a building energy management system, together with separate programmed boiler replacements and premises refurbishments. The introduction of automatic meter reading systems is allowing more accurate reporting of consumption and as an early action metric is reducing the financial burden of the Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme. The Council reports annual buildings CO 2 emissions data to Welsh Government in the form of strategic performance indicators (EEF002) and a 2.4% reduction in emissions has been achieved for 2011/12. Utility contracts are, generally, procured via the Welsh Purchasing Consortium and the Government Procurement Service with the result that the Council receives favourable prices, typically below market value by utilising this framework. Central invoicing and bill payment are undertaken using Systems Link software to ensure effective monitoring and analysis of consumption data. The current priorities for energy management include: raise awareness of how and why to save energy, including publicity of successful initiatives undertake improvements to Council buildings to reduce energy use such as further motorised swimming pool covers, installation of loft insulation, replacement of obsolete boilers, installation of motion and daylight sensitive lighting to schools, Ongoing Core Brief, governors Newsletters, Posters, Climate Cops, Realising Resources Programme ongoing - 650,000 invested since 2009 Page 11

17 undertake feasibility study of upgrading school lighting systems to LED tubes. undertake pilot study of replacing hand dryers with more energy efficient models continue to extend central control network for control of heating to buildings undertake audits of community centres to identify energy saving opportunities provide accurate data regarding energy use across the Council to support monitoring and identify areas to target Results expected in May/ Tests to take place in April/May 2012 Part of Heating Improvement Programme To be completed by September 2012 Ongoing data available via website. The Council has displayed Display Energy Certificates (DEC) to comply with the Energy Performance in Buildings Regulations 2007 in all premises requiring them under the Act. However, a number need to be reviewed following improved data and energy saving initiatives. DEC ratings will provide an ongoing basis for identifying and prioritising energy saving initiatives. Compliance with increasing legislative requirements such as the future tightening of the DEC regulations and the complexity of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) compliance should drive energy management as a political and financial priority and support effective and ongoing opportunities to improve are maximised. The Council has produced its annual report for the CRC for in accordance with the Corporate Plan (CR8), and will implement a monitoring regime to ensure ongoing compliance and penalties are avoided. In 2011, the annual report the emissions were 17,694 tonnes CO 2 whilst 19,553 were reported within the footprint report. The Council must account for its premises carbon emissions and purchase sufficient allowances to cover emissions. The financial liability of the CRC will prove an ongoing annual budget pressure, providing an incentive to improve performance. A strategy to manage the CRC scheme has been developed. The implementation of Objectives E & G could result in the rationalisation of buildings, which could have a significant effect on reducing carbon emissions. Sustainability All sections of the Council have achieved a Green Dragon award (Welsh environmental accreditation scheme similar to EMAS or ISO 14001), ranging from level 2 to level 5 (the highest level achievable). In accordance with the Regeneration Framework, Theme 3: The Green Lung of South East Wales, it is important that all Public Sector led new capital projects exhibit best practice in Sustainable Development (SD) building standards e.g. Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) and Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). The use of sustainable materials and low carbon technology should be maximised in all developments. All major developments should meet BREEAM excellent standard and seek to use renewable energy (solar thermal water heating, solar PV panels, heat pumps, biomass boilers, rainwater harvesting and wind turbines) if there is an acceptable pay back period. Page 12

18 The Council's Sustainable Development Working Group is attended by senior officers from all Directorates as well as a number of specialist officers including the Energy Manager, Operational Manager (Property) and the Council's Ecologist. The role of the group is to put sustainable development at the heart of everything the Council does. It was established to: provide a strategic focus for sustainable development within the Council. co-ordinate the work necessary to embed sustainable development across the Council. build understanding and awareness of the importance of doing things in sustainable ways and achieving sustainable outcomes. identify and share examples of good practice from within the Council and from other organisations. establish ambitions and aspirations for sustainability within the Council. A Sustainable Development Checklist has been developed by the group which has been incorporated into the Project Management toolkit. The group receives progress reports on a number of major projects through the year. The Council has signed the Welsh Government Sustainable Development Charter and committed to making sustainable development our central organising principle and to promoting and delivering wellbeing through our decisions and operations. Materials will be selected principally on the basis of sustainability and durability. This means that in addition to using materials with low embodied energy, and maximising the recycled content and recyclability, maintenance requirements are reduced, and all other things being equal, products are sourced as close to the site as possible. In addition to minimising the transportation costs and pollution, it also promotes investment in local companies (as outlined in the Regeneration Framework, Theme 1: Maximising Opportunities and Theme 3: The Green Lung of South East Wales) to stimulate development and encourage widespread adoption of greener products and services. The Council has signed up to the WWF's 'What Wood You Choose' campaign, pledging to purchase only legal and sustainable timber and wood products - which includes paper, furniture, fencing and pallets. This supports our existing ethical procurement processes. The Council needs to be able to evidence whether the timber and timber products it procures meet the required forest certification schemes of the Forest Stewardship Council ( FSC ) or the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification ( PEFC ). This is accepted as Category A evidence in meeting the UK Government s criteria for legality and sustainability (the latter requiring products or product lines to contain more than 70% certified or recycled raw material). Property Objective D To participate in a range of geographic and sector collaboration opportunities for sharing assets, with the overall aim of improving public services Why is this important? The Wales Audit Office in their publication Buildings Management National Briefing sharing the experience and the results (June 2010) suggests that to successfully modernise Welsh public sector services, organisations must consider all options for service delivery including working together more effectively. This issue has been included in the Corporate Plan , under Improvement Objective 33, CR9 Develop a shared strategic approach to asset management with the Local Service Board by The failure to deliver services/projects collaboratively has been identified as a strategic risk in the Council s risk register. Page 13

19 How are we going to achieve this objective? A number of initiatives have been undertaken in order to establish where possible collaboration opportunities might occur, which include: Community Asset Transfer Protocol A protocol has been established that considers the issue of community asset transfer. The Community Asset Transfer Protocol identifies when the Council could consider the transfer of an asset, and how local communities could register an interest in taking over a Council owned property. Electronic Property Information Mapping Service (e-pims) e-pims is the web based central database which was developed for the Central Civic Estate, which is hosted by the Office of Government Commerce (OGC). It allows key property data to be stored relating to address, location, size and other notes which will facilitate the storage of estates information for user bodies in Wales, such as Central Government, WG, NHS, local authorities, police forces and fire services. The database allows all users within the public sector to view the current (or planned) availability of accommodation. The Council regularly reviews the system to identify any partner properties that are surplus in the Vale, with a view to considering properties which may enable an improvement to service delivery and a reduction in operational costs. In addition, the LSB Asset Management Group discusses its portfolios and areas for rationalisation, and hence available properties in their group. The Council recognises the vital role played by the third/voluntary sector and the desire of WG through its Public Service Leadership Group; Asset Management and Procurement Work Programme Plan to engage with the voluntary sector to pilot their active involvement in the database. In the medium term, we will work with the organisations operating in the Vale to plot their property holdings which may identify opportunities for organisations to share facilities, thus providing savings and enabling them to target their funds at providing front line services. Local Service Board Asset Management Group The Vale of Glamorgan Council hosts this group which meets on a quarterly basis, with representatives from the Police, Health Authority, Fire & Rescue Service, Voluntary Sector and Cardiff & Vale College (formerly Barry College). As outlined in the Improvement Plan and the Grant Thornton Audit Report, we will work with the Local Service Board to undertake an audit of premises and identify opportunities for joint working. This work will further develop the work undertaken by Arup for The Carbon Trust to support the Local Service Board carbon reduction initiatives, which identified clusters of buildings, particularly Barry Civic Centre area, Llantwit Major Schools/Leisure Campus and Cowbridge town centre. The Council will explore the possibility of an integrated Asset Management Plan. Recent discussions, at the group meetings, have included carbon and energy management and accommodation issues. The Group aims to build on the success of the work undertaken at Barry Fire Station which has seen the Safer Vale and the Children and Young People s partnerships occupying previously underutilised, accommodation. Working in conjunction with a range of partners including South Wales Police, South Wales Probation Service, the Vale Centre for Voluntary Services and South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, the accommodation was refurbished to provide space for a number of groups, particularly youth groups, to promote safer communities. Page 14

20 The Council is involved in a number of service led collaboration initiatives, which may have an impact on property. The main initiatives are outlined below, with further detail later in the Plan. Central South Education Consortium (CSEC) The Council is involved in the CSEC comprising Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil and Cardiff Councils, with a proposal for the establishment of a joint school improvement service. Local Health Board and Social Services Joint Working The Council is working closely with Cardiff & Vale University Health Board (Actions HSCW14 & CL11 in the Corporate Plan ) on developing a more integrated service, which seeks to improve service delivery whilst benefiting from efficiency savings. This has included several initiatives where co-location has resulted, eg IFSS at the Alps. Further opportunities for joint working will be explored in future years. Bridgend Vale Partnership The Joint Working programme between the Vale of Glamorgan and Bridgend Councils is continuing with more than 16 service areas exploring the potential to work together. The programme, known as, the Bridgend and Vale of Glamorgan Partnership reflects the Council s desire to work with Bridgend under the memorandum of understanding to improve outcomes for residents and make savings. Building on the success of the shared internal audit service which is fully operational and based in Bridgend, projects in other areas are progressing. The Partnership Board has recently given approval to business cases for joint working in trading standards and civil parking enforcement. The two Councils are also working together on a range of other projects. Some projects are at the informal discussion stage, others have had outline proposals (project briefs) approved and others are proceeding with business cases which set out the formal approach to joint working. Joint working is being explored in numerous other areas including Additional Learning Needs, CCTV, Dog Wardens, Equalities & Welsh Language, Legal Services (Children s Services), Social Care Workforce Development, Youth Offending Services, Youth Services, Civil Protection, Community Safety, Occupational Health, Procurement, Property Services and Wales Accord on the Sharing of Personal Information (WASPI). The Council will continue to review the property implications of each agreed area and ensure that prompt action is taken in respect of property accommodation to meet the service needs. Communities First The Communities First programme works in the most deprived areas throughout Wales helping to improve the lives of many residents of all ages. Communities First, working in partnership, enables and encourages public sector, third sector and private sector organisations to work together to achieve common goals. In respect of the Vale, there are two main areas; Gibbonsdown and Castleland/Court. The Council works with Communities First to ensure the most effective use for premises delivering community services. As part of this commitment the Vale is co-located with Communities First in the Castleland Renewal Area premises, and the Gibbonsdown/Court area utilise premises on Aberaeron Close. Page 15

21 Collaboration Case Study - Cadoxton House, Barry Cadoxton House, Belle Vue Terrace, Barry was a non-listed two-story villa style property constructed at the turn of the 20th Century. Cadoxton House was unoccupied for a number of years. It was very badly fire damaged by both vandalism and several arson attacks. In Aug 2005, Steven Knott Dip Surv MRICS Chartered Building Surveyor submitted a report that concluded Cadoxton House was in poor condition. In August 2008 the Vale of Glamorgan received a grant from the Welsh Government to establish a support centre for victims of domestic abuse. Shortly after the funding was awarded the Welsh Government published it s Models of Joint Working between substance misuse and domestic abuse services. Subsequently, the Safer Vale Partnership began investigating the feasibility of co-locating the two services. Cadoxton House was identified as a preferred location, as it was situated in an area that has specifically been highlighted for a number of reasons: the strategic assessment highlighted alcohol as one of the main issues in the Vale; alcohol can be linked to all other crimes such as acquisitive crime; anti social behaviour. The location of the property is within an area where there is the third highest level of occurrences of anti social behaviour in the Vale. By providing supporting services from this location it is anticipated that this will have a considerable positive impact on crime in this area. The property was substantially re-built to provide modern, fit for purpose accommodation. The community support centre integrates a number of services in a dedicated space, providing more room with better facilities that is both practical for professionals and client friendly. People who experience alcohol misuse and domestic abuse have access to information, support, advocacy and advice. This has eradicated problems with loss of time, expense and communication that most service users have to endure. The Community Support Centre offers a seamless response to clients needs and is a central point for agencies and professionals, creating better throughput of services. Further developing the current alcohol service in the Vale, there has been increased capacity and help reduce alcohol misuse and the anti social behaviour linked to alcohol misuse. The agencies providing a service are Vale of Glamorgan Social Services, Penyrenfys, Atal-y-Fro and Hafan Cymru. Partnership working prevents service users being shunted between services and prevents agencies duplicating work. Inter-agency working helps reduce the time that it takes for clients to access all services that are required. Information sharing protocols ensures that clients receive the best possible service and those children and vulnerable adults receive all the support that they require. In the Vale of Glamorgan, 45% domestic incidents reported to the police involve substance misuse (mainly alcohol). Linking substance misuse and domestic abuse services helps perpetrators and victims to address the cause, effect and dependency thus reducing substance misuse and violent crime. In the Vale, 22% of all violent crime in 2008 was linked to domestic abuse. Residents had been worried that the Centre would attract crime, however a vast reduction in anti-social behaviour has been recorded since the redevelopment began. Page 16

22 Property Objective E To develop an office accommodation strategy and to provide appropriate accommodation solutions to service needs Why is this important? Key to understanding our future accommodation needs is to know how our customers will access our services in the future. This work is being undertaken through the Channel Strategy, which looks at three main areas of communications including: Website Face to face via C1V (Contact One Vale) This strategy will consider the space that the Council needs in order to operate and interact with our customers taking into account issues such as: the suitability of our premises to deliver our varied range of services One of the methods of communication outlined within the Channel Strategy is face to face contact with our customers. In order to facilitate this, we need to have accessible premises for staff to deliver their services to the public. Within these premises a corporate identity and image needs to be established and maintained with consistent standards for signage. the financial implications of continued operation Property costs are made up of: maintenance costs business rates utility costs lease/rental costs (where appropriate) support service costs occupancy costs By looking at ways to reduce these property management costs, funds can be redirected to the delivery of front line services. Total expenditure on these items can be reduced by an office rationalisation programme that will provide ongoing revenue savings. how the premises are managed on a day to day basis in a cost effective manner in order to maximise operational productivity. The effective management of premises is also concerned with how we are making best use of our premises in areas such as space utilisation. We need to minimise the need for holding on to partially occupied or empty premises which can create an ongoing financial burden. In future years, the Council will be facing numerous challenges and in order to meet these, short, medium and long term objectives will need to be set, based on various assumptions: Page 17

23 The Council will continue to operate from the Civic Offices as its main base for the foreseeable future. That the Council will aim to realise efficiencies from its office accommodation utilising methods such as disposals and space optimisation as mentioned in the CAMP. Offices are expensive to maintain and every effort should be made in ensuring that we can achieve the greatest efficiency we can from our existing office space. Significant potential cost savings (in some cases up to 75%) in a typical estate can come from office space optimisation. New technology allows scope for a far more flexible use of space, which opens up numerous opportunities when considering office desk layouts, such as: Hot-desking (typically, in local authorities, desk occupation across the entire office portfolio has been c. 40%, which demonstrates that reductions in office accommodation could be achieved by instigating a hot desking policy) Home and remote working - The Corporate Plan (CR11) identifies the need to develop a strategy for mobile and home-working to support the optimal use of property. (the use of technology could enable front line staff such as social workers to limit the need for coming in to the office and enable them to spend more time with customers/clients. As well as improving service delivery this will also make a contribution to reducing office accommodation) Creating more shared space areas (such as small focus rooms, print rooms, meeting rooms and informal break-out areas) By embracing these developments the Council will be able to reduce its ongoing and future office needs. How are we going to achieve this objective? In June 2010, the OneVale Programme Board approved a project (Space Project) to examine the Council s current use of office accommodation at the following locations: Alps Depot Civic Offices Contact OneVale at Barry Leisure Centre Dock Office Haydock House Provincial House Docks Office Civic Centre Page 18

24 Provincial House Haydock House The aim of the project is to understand the Council s current and future office accommodation requirements and define a plan for delivering an effective and efficient use of the office space and realise efficiency savings. The objectives have been identified as following: Objectives To deliver cost reductions To create fit for purpose offices To reduce carbon emissions To deliver highly visible efficiencies To deliver service efficiencies Benefits Through the disposal of buildings To better meet service needs Through occupancy of fewer buildings and making use of technology Demonstrating efficiencies to staff and public Efficiencies through co-locating services The project has analysed our existing use of accommodation, based on size, staff numbers, cost and energy, and includes comparisons of service and building space utilisation. The analysis has also forecast the future space utilisation based on the existing space standards, and the impact this may have across the portfolio. The initial report identifies a number of influencing factors, which need too be addressed, including: funding availability suitability & condition disposal of buildings declared surplus change management smarter working co-location of services where they complement each other and/or centralising directorates Page 19

25 The report identifies a number of high level options for the future configuration of office accommodation, which would include central administration hub and meeting and training room arrangements. The Council will develop a corporate wide office accommodation strategy that will cover Property, ICT and Human Resources issues. The strategy will encompass all buildings utilised as offices regardless of which service has responsibility for the property. This will be informed by the work on the Space Project but further work will be required to consider those buildings outside its scope. In order to support the Council s economic and regeneration strategies, wherever possible the Council will aim to focus staff re-location strategies around town centre offices. In order to understand whether our premises are suitable, we require accurate data relating to aspects of their performance. To achieve this we will: Short Term Consult with the service areas, utilising the SAMP documents to determine their views on the premises that they occupy. Undertake condition surveys of all office premises (as outlined in Objective A). Medium Term As outlined in Property Objective B, undertake the area review process including suitability surveys of all office premises focussing on location, access to building, safety & security, space/layout, health & safety and overall image. Location Overall Image Safety & Security Suitability Assessment Access to Building Space/ Layout Health & Safety Long Term Review data collated in order to improve decision making on property related matters. By understanding how much each of our premises cost to operate, comparisons can be made in terms of their financial performance. This will be of particular importance when considering premises where we are tenants, as there may be opportunities to initiate break clauses within Page 20

26 existing leases or to vacant accommodation at the end of the lease term. It will also be important when considering the future of owned under performing properties. This information can then be combined with our suitability data to plot the position of the buildings concerned onto the decision matrix in Objective B. To achieve this we will: Short Term Collate financial data relating to property costs, highlighting any areas of concern. Medium Term Consider rationalising office space in the form of disposing of non-performing premises. As outlined in the Grant Thornton Audit Report, we will instigate a re-charge procedure reflecting actual expenditure incurred in occupying property so that services fully understand the costs. Long Term Continue to seek out opportunities to reduce the size of the portfolio in line with service delivery requirements. The One Vale Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) team is working closely with the Property Section to develop the Space Project which considers the Council s current and future office accommodation requirements. This will help define to plan for delivering an effective and efficient use of space in addition to realising efficiency savings. The first phase of this project considers the main corporate offices with a view to achieving benefits in the following areas: Fit for purpose offices to better meet the needs of services. Improved utilisation of desk space, with an aim to increase occupancy. Cost reduction through disposal of a building. Reduced carbon emissions through occupying fewer buildings. Highly visible efficiency - demonstrating efficiencies to staff and the public. To increase the efficiency of space, we must ensure that the public can still access the services we offer, in the right place at the right time. In order to ensure that the premises are managed on a day to day basis in a cost effective manner and to maximise operational productivity, we will: Short Term Undertake further utilisation studies relating to service areas level of occupancy within buildings including desk occupancy, storage utilisation and meeting room use, together with details of any vacant space, to enable us to identify any areas of concern. The circulation of good practice examples of space optimisation works undertaken and the adoption of corporate space standards will further enhance our ability to get the best use from our buildings. Page 21

27 Medium Term As identified previously, it is important that an accommodation strategy is developed and is fully integrated within other service strategies. As part of the accommodation strategy, further policies and initiatives will need to be agreed: Space Utilisation Standards The Council will need to determine: the type of office accommodation to be provided (eg open plan or cellular offices); the provision of individual offices (eg no individual offices, individual offices for directors only, individual offices for directors and heads of service only, etc.); the extent to which hot-desking is adopted (all staff or certain roles), and if adopted the staff to desk ratio adopted (eg 7 or 8 desks per 10 staff); A review of existing space standards (once the issues above are addressed); Provision of meeting rooms (formal and informal; bookable and non-bookable); Provision of workstations to accommodate different work styles; A review of furniture needs and procurement; Corporate wide meeting room management to maximise utilisation, and; Office Storage arrangements ICT Solutions storage space standards within the office environment; ensure full utilisation of the RMU to reduce office accommodation used for the storage of paper documentation, where a hard copy is required Provision of video conferencing, to reduce the need for staff to travel to meetings; A review the ICT strategy, to ensure that the IT infrastructure can fully support the accommodation strategy, including: electronic document management (TRIM); print management; network and telephone access; adequate broadband and bandwidth; and appropriate hardware provision; Human Resources A new Smarter Working Policy has been approved, and a review of other HR policies and procedures will be undertaken to ensure they fully support the accommodation strategy; Provision of training to assist with management of remote workers, including management by results rather than attendance and procedures to ensure home/agile workers do not feel isolated Agreements with Unions over proposed changes to the working environment; Integration of the accommodation strategy into the annual asset management and service planning processes, so that medium and long term requirements for office space are identified, allowing the Council to continually review the accommodation it occupies and proposed staffing changes can be integrated into the accommodation strategy, ensuring a balanced provision of accommodation at all times; Exit strategies for surplus properties are developed Disposal method to be utilised; Whether demolition prior to disposal would be preferable; Page 22

28 When to vacate; just prior to disposal to avoid property being left vacant or at some earlier point. With the data collected from the utilisation studies and development of the necessary policies, such as those above, the Council can ensure that: each existing office building is assessed for its suitability to meet the objectives of the strategy; the number of people each building can accommodate is identified; preferred service/team groupings are identified for all office based staff to ensure that co-location benefits can be maximised; the maximum benefits from a rationalisation programme can be realised whilst enhancing/maintaining service delivery; and an integrated approach is adopted which avoids services operating independently resulting in under-utilised properties. Adopting a more modular approach to the provision of accommodation, furniture and IT/telephony provision, print management, electronic document management (TRIM; Phase 2 of the TRIM roll out is an action in the Improvement Plan ) will limit the need in future office moves to make physical alterations to buildings or to move furniture, IT, extensive stored paper material or other equipment. To support the implementation of the office accommodation strategy, a project team will be established to support: space planning solutions, including: desk types and layout meeting room provision adequate toilet and kitchen facilities break out areas/informal space (including reviewing refreshment facilities for staff) ensuring that buildings meet statutory requirements ICT solutions to support the strategy A project communication strategy to ensure that the Council fully communicate with staff and unions at all stages, via methods such as questionnaires, focus groups, bulletins, briefings and a building users handbook; and the cultural change required within the organisation, such as clear desk policies, hotdesking and staff management. In addition to the financial savings on property costs from the implementation of an accommodation strategy, there may be other benefits, depending upon the extent to which flexible working arrangements are adopted. As outlined in Objective D, maintaining and developing our links with our fellow public sector bodies, via the LSB, may also offer up opportunities to share property resources where it has mutual benefits to the parties concerned. Long Term By utilising all available technologies, we will be in a position to further increase mobile/home/flexible working opportunities. This method of working allows officers to communicate with their back office systems in real time, both to access and send data for processing and storage. By doing this, there will be a reduction in the need to make unnecessary journeys, thus saving officer time. Strategic Aims - to be in a position to release one office building (currently occupied as offices) in readiness for disposal Target date by Page 23

29 Dependant upon the extent to which agile working and hot-desking are adopted, there is a possibility that there will be further opportunities for rationalisation, the extent is difficult to assess at this stage, but there could be potential to vacate further office space, which would contribute towards the required savings in the Medium Term Financial Plan. Case Study - Rationalisation of office space for the Property Section The Property Section occupied two separate offices on the 2 nd floor of the Civic Offices, which had become overcrowded and were showing signs of disrepair. Space was poorly utilised and after consultation with staff, a revised layout was agreed which resulted in a number of positive outcomes. These included the movement of all property staff into one refurbished office, the creation of a new meeting room, provision of a hot desk facility and the re-allocation of an empty office which has since been refurbished. Additional work was undertaken in October 2011, to introduce additional desks and reduce storage within the office, which resulted in an additional six desk spaces being available. Further work was carried out in February 2012, with some minor layout alterations, a further three desk spaces were provided. The overall effect increased the capacity from 28 to 34. Property Objective F To ensure that all asset information is held in a user friendly format Why is this important? Having up to date data relating to our property assets assists us in making informed decisions when looking across the portfolio. Service areas will need to access this data in the most effective way and be able to clearly understand the form it is presented in. How are we going to achieve this objective? The Council utilises the Institute of Public Finance (IPF) Asset Management software system to store its asset management data. As this product is web based, it enables multiple users to log in via a password system (which determines the level of access), into a variety of modules. It is intended to use the core module of this software as the main reference point for service areas to get information relating to their premises, covering areas such as compliance, energy performance and floor plans. This will be carried out during 2012, after the data has been checked and verified. These documents will be in a format (such as a PDF file) which will enable users to access them as and when required. In addition, we aim to use the IPF database to store all premises related compliance information (as outlined in Objective A) for every building for which the Council has a responsibility. The information to be stored includes the asbestos register, fire risk assessment, legionella testing, boiler maintenance, gas servicing, lift inspections/services. This will provide a central location and assist with assessments on which buildings are compliant and those properties that need to be addressed. Page 24

30 Property Objective G To review the CAMP on an annual basis reporting back to Cabinet on progress made Why is this important? The Corporate Plan objective CR7 requires this to be carried out on an annual basis, as recommended by the Wales Audit Office (WAO) in their report Buildings Management National Briefing (June 2010) to ensure land and buildings strategies are up to date and link clearly with corporate and service objectives. How are we going to achieve this? The CAMG will monitor progress of the CAMP. Any slippage that may occur relating to target dates contained within the CAMP will be highlighted to the Corporate Property Officer (CPO), who is the Operational Manager Property so that the necessary action can be taken to rectify the situation. Page 25

31 3. Asset Management Strategy 3.1 Corporate Asset Management Structure The asset management process involves both elected members and officers. Members are fully involved in the strategic decision making process of asset management including use and disposal of surplus property. Major asset management issues are approved by Cabinet. The Cabinet Member with responsibility for property is Councillor Neil Moore, who is the Leader of the Council. Officer s training and personal development needs are identified on an ongoing process through the Personal Development Review Scheme (PDRS). Officers represent the Council at external asset management and property groups, in order to share good practice and discuss current issues, which include: The Institute of Public Finance (IPF) asset management plan network Consortium of Local Authorities in Wales (CLAW) The roles and responsibilities of the Corporate Property Officer include: To put the necessary asset management processes in place to undertake strategic asset management that meets the Council s needs and Government requirements; To address the role and contribution of the Council s property assets in supporting the delivery of corporate and service objectives; To report back to chief officers and members when deemed necessary on the performance of the property portfolio; To ensure that a record is maintained of basic core data on all the Council s property; and To be able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the data required to manage the performance of the property portfolio. The Vale of Glamorgan Council s Corporate Property Officer (CPO) is the Operational Manager - Property. 3.2 Property Section The Property Section is within the Policy & Resources Directorate. It delivers a full range of property services associated with the design and delivery of capital and maintenance programmes and estate management. New arrangements for project management have also been put into place. Property and Asset Management also embraces facilities management services across the main corporate premises. 3.3 Corporate Asset Management Group The CAMG is a group of senior officers covering all service areas who are tasked to co-ordinate the most effective use of Council assets. The role of the group has recently been extended to cover the monitoring of progress of schemes in the Capital Programme in order to minimise issues such as slippage. Page 26

32 The Group has also taken over the responsibilities of the Property Projects Group, and now reviews all potentially surplus and under utilised land and buildings. The objectives of the Group are to: ensure that all property assets that are surplus to the Council s requirements are released for sale in a timely manner; identify opportunities for the re-use of under utilised properties and to ensure that they are discussed and taken forward; discuss any problems service areas have with property assets e.g. occupation problems/legal issues. Current membership of the group is listed in Appendix A. 3.4 Asset Management Stakeholders Consultation with our stakeholders is fundamental to everything that the Council does, and it is committed to ensuring that appropriate frameworks are developed to support the asset management planning process. An Asset Management Health Check report was undertaken by DTZ Pieda Consulting in early An outcome of this was the establishment of a service asset management planning process. The process requires individual services to develop their thinking in relation to the asset implications of delivering their services, and to contribute their own views regarding the suitability, sufficiency and condition of the accommodation they utilise. This process was first established in 2002/03 and has been re-established utilising more user friendly forms during The forms will be further reviewed following re-implementation, to further refine and simplify them, following feedback from the various services. A summary of the current service initiatives which aim to meet the Corporate Plan Improvement Objective 33 to make best use of the Council s assets and to procure good, sustainable services and facilities is outlined below Social Services Joint Working Initiatives The Council is working closely with Cardiff & Vale University Health Board, this has resulted in joint working at various Council premises including Gardenhurst Day Centre, Newlands Resource Centre and C1V Call Centre. In addition, there are Council teams based at the Amy Evans Centre, Barry Hospital and Llandough Hospital. A further opportunity for the Integrated Family Support Service, a consortium involving the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff Councils and the Cardiff and the Vale University Health Board, to be based at the Alps has, also, been agreed. The Council will explore the more efficient use of the training resource in collaboration with other health and social care agencies, including the possibility of shared training on a regional basis. Social Services continue to provide training jointly with Cardiff, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend Councils. Further opportunities have been explored but as the service is grant funded by WG and they have a preference for any collaboration to be based on LHB footprint, there are restrictions on options available. However, the service is also looking at opportunities with partners through an LSB sub group. Page 27

33 Barry Hospital Llandough Hospital Office Bases In addition to the joint working locations above, the Social Services directorate currently has office based staff situated in the following locations: Gardenhurst Day Centre, Penarth Washington Chambers, Penarth Hen Goleg, Barry Dock Offices, Barry Flying Start, Barry Tŷ Jenner, Barry Haydock House, Barry Cadoxton House, Barry 91a Salisbury Road, Barry (Youth Offending Service) The Council will explore opportunities to reduce property running costs, particularly on leased in accommodation. The Social Services Department is currently exploring opportunities to co-locate staff with the Youth Offending Service, to help improve service delivery and reduce costs. Ty Jenner 91a Salisbury Road Page 28

34 Residential Care The Corporate Plan includes Objective 18 to increase the range of accommodation options that enable older people to live independently in the community and develop preventative measures to delay use of residential care. Specifically, an action HSCW11, to increase the supply of special forms of accommodation, including additional Extra Care housing, to meet the varied needs of older people. With the emphasis changing to Extra Care facilities, the likelihood is that in the longer term there will be a decrease in demand for residential homes. A review of residential homes has been undertaken to meet the Improvement Plan objectives to: increase capacity of residential beds for older people with mental illness; and reduce admissions to residential older people s homes (non-emi). The review has assessed likely demand and aimed to ensure that the supply is controlled and that the residential homes meet modern standards, and ensure that there is a continual review of provision, allowing appropriate action to be taken to meet demand. Following the review, Tŷ Dyfan has been re-registered as an elderly mentally ill (EMI) unit and currently has 20 residents in placement, having previously supported frail elderly residents. Within the fees agreed to the independent sector in 2011/2012 the enhancement given for EMI care was increased to incentivise the sector to move to EMI provision. The level of the incentive will be increased further in 2012/2013. The number of placements in care homes has not reduced as planned. Consequently, a study was undertaken in 2011/2012 to look at the trends and to look at the re-ablement services provided in the community to reduce the dependency on residential care. Proposals are planned to come forward early in 2012/2013. Also, in accordance with the Improvement Plan , a review of respite services has commenced, with the use of respite residential care beds having been rationalised with capacity being used in Tŷ Dyfan as part of a block contract with and a review of respite services for adults with learning disabilities currently being undertaken. Southway Home for the Elderly Day Services Cartref Porthkerry Ty Robin The service is vacating Woodlands Day Centre as the property is not fit for purpose. Improvement works are being undertaken at Gardenhurst & Hen Goleg to accommodate the additional service users. Page 29

35 With the current budgetary pressures, it is envisaged that a review of Day Services will be undertaken to ensure that the Council has the right provision in the right place. This will ensure that buildings are utilised to their optimum level. Hen Goleg Gardenhurst Maes y Coed Family Centre Environmental & Economic Regeneration Country Parks The Council has two main country parks at Cosmeston and Porthkerry. The Council is seeking the views of the community on the proposal to declare Cosmeston Lakes Country Park, Penarth, a local nature reserve (LNR). It is hoped that LNR status, which is designated under the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, will help make nature more accessible to Vale residents and visitors. The Council is developing a new community building at Porthkerry to deliver year-round education, sports and learning programmes to increasing volumes of school children, through play and act as a focal point for more than 40 community groups utilising the park utilising a grant from Barry Regeneration Area. Cosmeston Country Park Porthkerry Country Park Leisure Centres In response to the Corporate Plan Improvement Objective 16 - to improve the health of citizens and encourage healthy lifestyles, the Council has developed a strategy for the future management of the Council s leisure centres (HSCW2). The Council is in the process of appointing a management contractor for the leisure centres on a 10 (+ 5) year contract. The Council retains responsibility for external repairs and mechanical & electrical repairs, with the Page 30

36 contractor being responsible for internal repairs and decoration. The Council has set aside funding for dealing with its repair obligations in the initial phase of the contract. Penarth Leisure Centre Cowbridge Leisure Centre Historic Properties The Corporate Plan identifies the need to encourage economic growth in partnership with others in order to widen employment opportunities in the Vale (Improvement Objective 28). As part of this objective, there are two identified actions: Identify new uses for Dyffryn House (R10) The Council is negotiating to transfer the property to the National Trust by way of a 50 year lease. The National Trust will oversee the restoration of the house and its opening as a visitor attraction, with an aim to double visitor numbers. Finalise proposals to refurbish Penarth Pier Pavilion (R13) The Council is negotiating to transfer the property using a community asset transfer to Penarth Arts & Crafts Ltd, a registered charity, which has developed plans for an extensive refurbishment including provision of restaurant/café, cinema/lecture theatre, learning spaces, retail units, multi-use space/gallery, function lounge/conference suite, observatory and office space. Penarth Pier Dyffryn House Page 31

37 Waste & Recycling The main base is the Alps Depot, where vehicles are stored and serviced. In addition, the service utilise Court Road Depot for storage. Prosiect Gwyrdd is a partnership between Caerphilly, Cardiff, Monmouthshire, Newport and Vale of Glamorgan Councils. The combined municipal waste of the five authorities makes up 40% of the total municipal waste of Wales. Prosiect Gwyrdd is committed to looking for the best environmental, cost effective and practical solution for waste after recycling and composting has been maximised in each area. The tender process is entering its final phase with the two remaining private sector bidders favouring options to base the facility in Cardiff or Newport. The failure to meet the national waste agenda and targets has been identified as a strategic risk in the Council s Risk register, and Prosiect Gwyrdd is a major part in ensuring that this risk is significantly reduced. The Council s participation in the scheme will reduce the likelihood of additional property being required by the Council for waste/recycling services. The Council has two recycling centres in Llandow and Barry (Atlantic Trading Estate), which are operated by Biffa. However, the site at Llandow is not considered fit for purpose and suitable alternatives will be explored. The service has longer term aspirations for a waste transfer station, with land at the former Household Waste Recycling Centre, Hayes Road, Sully and/or the Atlantic Trading Estate having been identified for this purpose. The service, also, operate a number of public conveniences across the Vale. Romilly Road, Barry Llantwit Major (near Town Hall) Page 32

38 Community Centres There are 22 community centres across the Vale. They are, generally, let to management associations on internal repairing leases. There is limited prospect for community asset transfer, as there is difficulty in retaining volunteers under the present system, without adding further responsibilities. Glyndwr Community Centre, Penarth Playing Fields & Pavilions Highlight Park Community Centre, Barry St Athan Community Centre (including Pavilion) The service currently operates from Court Road Depot, which is utilised by other Visible Services departments and Social Services. The site is currently under-utilised and includes several dilapidated buildings. There are some contamination issues at the site from historic slaughterhouse operations, current use of fuel storage tanks, and on the adjacent site from the previous use for waste recycling. The Council will review if this the optimal base for the services given the under-utilised nature of the site, but having regard to the potential redevelopment costs of the site given the contamination. The condition of pavilions/changing rooms across the Council area is varied, with some in very good condition, and some requiring extensive refurbishment/renewal. Parc Bryn-y-Don Playing Fields, Dinas Powys Allotments Ceri Road Playing Fields, Rhoose King George V Playing Fields, Llandough The Council, which currently owns 10 of the 22 allotment sites in the Vale, has developed a draft Allotment Strategy to meet its statutory obligation to provide allotments to meet the identified need. The Council will need to give careful consideration to the utilisation of its land to for allotments. The Strategy looks to increase provision over the next five years supply by working with town and community councils, allotment holders/groups, the voluntary sector and private providers, and for the community to take a greater role in the management of the allotment sites. The allotment provision is currently subsidised, and there is a longer term objective to ensure that the service is cost neutral to the Council. Lastly, there are a number of Council owned plots (c. 7.5%) unavailable due to being overgrown or having poor soil conditions, the strategy Page 33

39 concludes that an investment plan is required to bring them back into use to help satisfy the demand. Highways Asset Management Plan (HAMP) Highways Asset Management Planning has been recently re-established particularly in light of legislation on the Whole of Government Accounts and the need to establish depreciated replacement costs for Highways Assets. The Welsh Government has placed greater emphasis on the production of Highways Asset Management Plans across Wales which have supported grant funding for highways. This is particularly true for the submission of the Business Justification Case (BJC) in line with the Local Government Borrowing Initiative (LGBI). It was a requirement to provide the HAMP Grand Summary as part of the BJC in order to release grant funding for the 2012/13 financial year. As part of the Road Maintenance Grant from the Welsh Government in 2010/11, 300,000 was set aside to undertake Highways Asset Management Planning across Wales. The initiative is lead by the County Surveyors Society Wales (CSS) and a Consultant appointed to support all Welsh Unitary Councils to deliver on this initiative. The Highways Asset Management Plan (HAMP) commenced in May 2010 with regular workshops held on an area basis working on a number of asset management models tailored for each Council. The models include highway deterioration modelling, cost protection and valuation, budget profiling and risk management and including life cycle cost analysis. Performance indicators on an all Wales standard will be developed. The production of the new Vale of Glamorgan Highways Asset Management Plan is underway. This will contribute to the annual report to be submitted to Welsh Government on Highway Asset Data Management. The Welsh Government continues to support HAMP and provided a further 500,000 funding across Wales for the 2011/12 financial year. Work continues on the development and finalisation of the HAMP with a deadline of December 2012 set by Welsh Government. This will support and be a condition of future BJC submissions for the LGBI in 2013/14 and 2014/15 financial years. The main operational base for the service is at the Alps Depot. In addition, the Salt Store is situated within the compound, regular checks are made of the structure to ensure there is no adverse affect from the storage of salt. The Alps Depot The Highways Department operates an environmentally friendly service for the disposal of gulley waste on land in the Vale. The reed bed facility is also utilised by Bridgend and Cardiff Councils, and avoids the waste being disposed to landfill. Page 34

40 3.4.3 Legal, Public Protection & Housing Housing Plan The Council, which has 3,950 homes, balloted its tenants in early 2011 about transferring the housing to an alternative provider (external Registered Social Landlord). However, the tenants voted in favour of the Council remaining as their landlord. Consequently, the Council is now in the process of initiating a programme of works to meet the Welsh Housing Quality Standards (WHQS) for its homes. The Council aims to achieve WHQS for all its Dwellings by 2016/17. This is for reasons of affordability and an assessment of the availability of the professional and construction resources required to deliver the substantial programme of works. The business plan is modelled on a total capital investment of 82 million until March A further 136 million will be spent in Year 7-30 in maintaining the WHQS. This is a total capital outlay of circa 218 million for the 30 year plan. The investment will be reliant on the Major Repairs Allowance (MRA) funding from WG. The Council will also be utilising its own resources, i.e. useable capital receipts and revenue contributions to fund the expenditure. A proposed investment programme for the period 2012/13 to 2016/17 has been drawn up based on the overall requirement derived from the 2007 stock condition survey. Most of these works will be delivered through 4 main Contractors operating within 4 Improvement Areas. Namely the Rural Vale; Barry split into 2 areas; and Penarth/Dinas Powys. The failure to meet the WHQS and to ensure a sustainable solution to the housing stock has been identified as a strategic risk in the Council s risk register. Archive Service The Council operates its archive service through the Glamorgan Archives, which is a joint service with Cardiff, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff and the Vale of Glamorgan. The service is based in Leckwith, Cardiff. Public Protection The Council has developed a Substance Misuse and Domestic Abuse Centre at Cadoxton House. The building is used by a number of different agencies, as well as Social Services. The Safer Vale Partnership occupies accommodation at Barry Fire Station, and works with groups, particularly youth groups, to promote safer communities. Page 35

41 In accordance with the Outcome Agreement , the Council has acquired and refurbished a Renewal Area Office at 198 Holton Road, Barry. The property, also, accommodates the Communities First team. Cadoxton House (before refurbishment) Cadoxton House (post refurbishment) Coroners Court The Council operate the Coroners Court Service for Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan Councils from accommodation at Cardiff Central Police Station. The Council will explore opportunities to provide more suitable premises Learning & Development Education Service changes The expectation from the WG for consortium education provision could not be clearer with the potential for central reorganisation of education if councils are unable or unwilling to cooperate. The Council has responded to this through its involvement in a consortium comprising Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Cardiff and Merthyr Tydfil Councils. The consortium has established a joint school improvement service called a Joint Education Service (JES), with a phased establishment from September April The aspiration is that, subsequently, other education services, such as inclusion, would also be integrated. This new arrangement will disband ESIS (established in 1996 between Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil and Caerphilly Councils) and have a governance structure of a joint committee made up of portfolio elected members and chief education officers from each LA. The JES will provide: school improvement challenge and intervention functions, deployed according to need; a supporting data function; support for school senior appointments; arrangements for headteacher performance management; statutory training for governing bodies; a strategic lead for literacy, numeracy, ICT, transitions and Welsh language; the co-ordination of outdoor education activities; a strategic lead on wellbeing, ALN & vulnerable groups (not provision); and Page 36

42 the co-ordination of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education. Additionally, there will also be a self-funded trading arm for training that will be managed and led separately. The training arm will have a lead officer who will report to the JES joint committee. It is proposed that the central office for both the JES and the training arm will be the current ESIS building in Treforest, which is relatively new and purpose-built. The implications for the Council s own office accommodation, in the event that the consortium proceeds, are still to be finalised. However, this will be fully considered as part of the accommodation strategy so that any opportunities for rationalisation that may become available are wholly exploited. School Investment Programme The Council drew up a School Investment Strategy (SIS) as a result of the Welsh Assembly Government s target that all schools should be fit for purpose, originally, by Condition surveys and strategic school property appraisals have been carried out and have assisted in the development of the Strategy, which was adopted by Cabinet in May 2007 (minute no. C3028). In December 2010, a Strategic Outline Programme for 21 st Century Schools was approved and subsequently submitted to WG. Following changes to the capital support grant, the Council was invited to revisit the sequencing of the programme taking into account the changes, and this was carried out in November Following this a revised School Investment Programme (SIP) has been approved, providing: an increased emphasis on suitability and sufficiency issues at schools; the community at the heart of future proposals to ensure optimal use of the facilities; an increase in the provision of Welsh medium primary education (also, forms part of the Improvement Plan ); proposals to address surplus school places within the Vale and develop a plan to reduce surplus capacity as required. The overall objective of the programme is to ensure that all schools within the Vale are fit for purpose. The school buildings should inspire learning, nurture every pupil and member of staff and be a source of pride, as well as providing a practical resource for the community. The failure to deliver this strategy has been identified as a strategic risk in the Council s risk register. The original strategy was to deliver three secondary schools through a programme of re-build and redevelopment, as well as addressing the investment requirement for all other schools in the Vale. The three secondary schools are: Cowbridge Comprehensive St Cyres Comprehensive (as part of Penarth Learning Community) Llantwit Major Comprehensive These schools were ranked in accordance with a methodology which incorporated assessments of the building condition, requirements for repairs and maintenance, sufficiency of accommodation and operational issues. The re-building of Cowbridge Comprehensive started in December 2008, the new school was opened in September 2010 which has resulted in the relocation of the Lower School to the new Page 37

43 single site, in buildings meeting 21 st century educational needs. Funding for the project was provided by WG ( 14m) and Council funding ( 7.5m). The proposals for the Penarth Learning Community are being developed, and will include a new secondary school to replace St Cyres Comprehensive. The school development will include new Special Educational Needs (SEN) provision to replace the existing SEN schools in the Vale (Ysgol Erw r Delyn, Ashgrove School and Ysgol Maes Dyfan); part of this provision will be a regional facility for autism. The proposal achieves Lifelong Learning and Skills objectives LL4 'Develop Special schools as Centres of excellence to support the work of mainstream schools' and progresses LL8 'Finalise proposals for the developments of St Cyres and Llantwit Major Schools' included within the Corporate Plan and would contribute towards the key priorities of Education The total project cost is 49.2m, with funding from WG of 33,360,650, a further 1,131,000 grant funding towards the development costs and 1,500,000 is coming from Cardiff Council towards the SEN element of the build with the remainder being provided by the Council. The Llantwit Major development will now focus on the comprehensive school. currently being developed and funding is being sought to re-develop this school. Plans are Subsequent phases of the SIP will include provision of Welsh medium primary and a review of the Barry cluster of primary schools. The Education Department has a 25 year rolling replacement programme for major items including mechanical and electrical services and external structure. Cowbridge Comprehensive School Penarth Learning Community (Artist Impression) Page 38

44 Youth Centres There are three service specific centres at Cowbridge, Barry and Llantwit Major. In addition, several youth clubs operate from community or other council buildings. Wick Recreation Ground (Pavilion also utilised by Youth Centre) Area 41, Barry Colwinston Village Hall Llantwit Major Youth Centre (also utilised by Youth Centre) Page 39

45 Community Learning The Council has several community learning centres, which offer education classes mainly for adults using both stand alone premises and co-location with schools. Palmerston Adult Education Centre Libraries The Corporate Plan includes an action (CL2) to develop libraries in the Vale as public contact points. This may have implications on suitability of existing premises, as there are already concerns over a lack of space at some libraries and difficulty in meeting the provisions of the Public Library Standard of 27 m2 per 1000 population. This will need to be addressed if libraries are to act as public contact points. Penarth Library Sully Library Page 40



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