Agenda item

Property Services Bi-annual Performance Update


Jon Holden, Head of Property Services, gave an overview of the key points from the presentation, as summarised below:


·         Savings of £954,000 have been achieved since 2014, with £213,500 identified in 22/23

·         Rationalisation opportunities associated with LGR.  For example in Northallerton

·         New Ways of Working (Post Covid-19) with most back office staff working from home for some of the week

·         Continued reviews of running costs, including energy, in light of inflationary pressures

·         Ongoing work on carbon reduction and the achievement of the 2030 target

·         Carbon reduction achieved through property rationalisation, investment in building fabric, LED lighting upgrades, feasibility studies on low carbon technologies, decarbonisation of heat and behaviour change

·         £1.9m on Public Sector Heat Decarbonisation Scheme window replacement work at 22 schools and 4 corporate sites

·         174 properties are managed that are used for the direct or indirect delivery of services that are not provided by Schools and Pupil Referral Units

·         There are 231 community schools and community Pupil Referral Units

·         There are 192 properties that are not used for direct or indirect service delivery in the short, medium or long terms

·         During 2021-2022, 34 capital projects completed with total value of £22.8m

·         £4.364m traded turnover in 2021-22, with a total of 280 clients.


There followed a discussion, with key points as summarised below:


·         There are between 3,000 and 4,000 assets across all 8 local authorities.  A programme of review and rationalisation will be undertaken after vesting day but the focus at present is upon making the ‘safe and legal’ transition to the new unitary authority

·         A number of councillors raised queries about the future of district and borough council properties and also the use of the existing County Hall site

·         Interest in understanding the liabilities and risks associated with the properties that would be inherited by the new unitary council

·         The air source heat pumps are located at an office, a library and a children’s resource centre.  For the pumps to work effectively high levels of insulation are needed in the buildings

·         The lifetime of a commercial boiler is 15 years.  Towards the end of that period, a review is undertaken to see what form of heating could be adopted that is effective, efficient and helps with decarbonisation

·         The refurbishment of the Grand committee room at County Hall, Northallerton will not be complete until next year.  The work to remove asbestos has been complex

·         There was interest in understanding how the various office setups impacted upon productivity.


County Councillor George Jabbour sought clarification on assets listed as ‘other’ in the presentation.


In response, Jon Holden explained that these were often bus stops or laybys used by highways to store grit or surface dressing material.  He said that he would provide a written response.


County Councillor Tony Randerson asked what was happening to the old Overdale primary school site.


Jon Holden said that the site had been made secure following the suspected arson attack and that the Council was looking to dispose of the site.


The Chair summed up and thanked Jon Holden for attending the meeting and presenting his annual update to the committee.


Resolved – That an update on the management of the property portfolio and any planned rationalisation following the creation of the new North Yorkshire Council be brought back to the December 2023 meeting of the committee.

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