Asset Management Strategy and associated policies - recommendation from the Corporate Management Committee

The report for this item was published as part of the agenda for the Corporate Management Committee on 23 February 2023.


The draft strategy was an important document, which sought to ensure that the Council had an asset base that was fit for purpose.  It also sought to formalise the Corporate Management Committee’s role as the corporate landlord.  The strategy document and performance against the key performance indicators within would be kept under regular review, as it was important to ensure that the Council’s portfolio of properties continued to meet the Council’s needs in what was a challenging and changeable economic climate.


The draft strategy was discussed by the Committee.


Suggested additions, such as referencing significant employers like St Peter’s Hospital, and the proposed housing development at Longcross, were made.  A number of other minor amendments were noted by officers.


There was discussion about the proposed minimum energy efficiency rating.  It was planned for this to align with the higher rating expected of the borough’s housing stock when the next iteration of the strategy was developed in 2028.


The value of a number of properties had decreased since they were last reviewed.  The Committee was assured that this was normal for assets that had long term tenancies nearing their end points.  Efforts were being made to secure new tenancy agreements at the best possible value for the Council.


The levels of delegation that were being sought as part of the table in the addendum to the report were discussed.  Whilst the Committee was content with most of the proposed delegations that were sought, it was considered that the current officer level delegation for rental values below £100k (detailed in row 1 of the table in the addendum) was appropriate and that member oversight of leases above this value should remain.  It was further felt that a suitable mechanism, in the form of Standing Order 42, already facilitated speedy decision making where it was required.  It was reported that the Constitution Working Group had reviewed the request for greater delegation and that those present at the working group held similar views to those expressed by members of the Committee.


The Committee discussed the mechanism for upward only rent reviews.  There was concern about how this might affect organisations that added substantial value to Runnymede’s communities.  It was noted that whilst this mechanism needed to remain in the strategy, there were other measures available to safeguard such organisations.  These measures included grant aid and a provision, within defined limits, as set out in Section 123 of the Local Government Act 1972.


The complexity of the health and safety policy elements of the strategy were reviewed.  These sections were necessarily detailed, in order to safeguard the Council and its interests.  These parts of the strategy would be kept under review.


It was proposed, seconded and agreed that the proposed motion be amended to read:


“The Asset Management Strategy and associated policies attached at appendix A be recommended to the Council for adoption, subject to:


1.     The amount in row 1 of appendix 8 (grant or renewal of a lease by officers) being retained at £100k.

2.     The various minor amendments discussed during the debate being incorporated into the strategy.”


It was resolved that the amended substantive motion be agreed.


[An addendum, which takes into account comments received from the Corporate Management Committee, has been attached to this supplementary summons.]


It was proposed (by Councillor T. Gracey) and seconded (by Councillor Howorth) that the recommendation of the Corporate Management Committee be agreed.


Resolved that the Asset Management Strategy and associated policies attached at appendix A be agreed, subject to:


·       The amount in row 1 of appendix 8 (grant or renewal of a lease by officers) being retained at £100k.


·       The various minor amendments detailed in the addendum to the report being incorporated into the strategy.

Supporting documents: