Headlines: July 6th, 2009

A review of property assets held by councils in the West Midlands has identified the potential for 700 million pounds of cashable savings over 10 years for the region in capital receipts and revenue savings. The asset management programme was by 4ps, which works with local authorities to secure funding and in projects and programmes, and Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands.

The pilot reviewed property owned by Staffordshire County, Bromsgrove District, Redditch Borough, Tamworth Borough, Walsall and Coventry City councils to identify potential efficiency savings. The new programme is designed to enable local authorities to respond in a systematic way to the Audit Commission’s recent report on asset management. It has also been integrated and developed closely with the Office of Government Commerce’s work to align local authority and civil estate opportunities.

Andrew Rowson, Director of Housing and Property at 4ps, said: “We are delighted with the results of the West Midlands programme, it has been a real success. We will now work with other local authorities and regional and national stakeholders to consider how a collaborative approach to asset management can secure considerable financial savings and service improvement.”

Keith Gordon, Assistant Director for Efficiency and Delivery at Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands, said the asset management review had provided councils in the region with an excellent opportunity to consider how best to manage their assets.

The pilot project was supported by Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP with Staffordshire acting as the lead authority. In the next few months 4ps will work with the six authorities involved in the pilot and with the Improvement and Efficiency Partnership to secure investment and to put resources in place to implement the programme fully before it is extended to other councils across the country.