By Joanne Peters

Local authorities typically have extensive and valuable property portfolios but generally don’t have the capacity to manage this strategically.

There is lots of talk at the moment about local authorities selling off these municipal ‘crown jewels’, whether as part of an agreed capitalisation directive for those authorities that are in need of  exceptional financial support, or as part of plans to improve sustainability.

Lack of suitable facilities at the heart of financial pressures

At the same time, quite often at the heart of key financial pressures, such as those around residential placements for children, SEND provision or temporary accommodation, is the limited availability of really suitable property or facilities.

As service needs and delivery pressures vary and change over time, it is often the case that assets are not optimised (e.g. poor utilisation, vacancies or misalignment) and asset-based services are being commissioned from external providers (sometimes at considerable cost).

Limited awareness of assets’ potential and availability

Organisational management arrangements can result in poor visibility, not only of asset potential, but also of availability. Property often operates in a transactional ‘silo’. It is overwhelmed with running and maintaining the vast range of properties within an ever-reducing budget, while not being empowered to better enable services to meet their strategic outcomes.

In the context of financial pressures, better understanding of available assets can generate opportunities for savings or more efficient and effective local service delivery. Our property experts and transformation team have collaborated to develop a quick diagnostic to answer the question “How can assets best optimise service outcomes?”

Contact us to find out more about the support we can provide your organisation.