Fixed asset register

By on 11/08/2011 in FOI/Data

Managing our property assets

We adopt a responsible approach to the management of all our fixed assets – decisions related to any of them are always made with the best interests of taxpayers in mind at all times.

A decision to dispose of our assets is not based purely on whether they are void. Properties are only ever disposed of through a robust and transparent democratic process.

The final decision to declare any property surplus to requirements is made by councillors and is subject to standard council scrutiny process.

We constantly review our obligation to pay rates and the rateable values of all council assets. In the last financial year we saved £1.2 million by reviewing our obligation to pay rates and saved £800,000 in challenging the rateable values of our assets.

The city council’s commercial property portfolio generates a total rental income stream of c£25m.

The council uses to the money to support its revenue spend and thereby keep its Council Tax down. The portfolio has been built up over 150 years largely from ad hoc purchases and the development of the council’s estate. The council’s strategy and objective is to retain a portfolio that produces a reliable income stream, contributing to the council’s challenging revenue budget and also providing long term sustainable growth of the asset value.

Selling off assets will release a one off capital receipt, however once the assets are sold the revenue stream is lost for the long term.

Holding these properties makes sound financial sense, as selling them will leave the authority having to find even more money to balance its budget in future years to pay for the front line services currently funded by this income stream.

While we are constantly looking at how to maximise income from the asset base, for some years we have also been identifying and delivering targeted rationalisation of the portfolio to improve the net income position and rate of return.

We have at the same time maintained total rental income so that any rental loss is balanced by rental growth in the retained portfolio.

The council fully supports the Government objective to highlight the need for councils to operate in a business-like way, however we have a long term strategy of retaining a well managed commercial property portfolio, and will not embark on an asset sell off of the council’s family silver.

Working for the Future is a 25-year programme which will save the council £100m. The cornerstone of the project is the rationalisation of the Central Administrative Buildings (CAB) portfolio. In 2006 we had 55 “back office” sites across the city. This is being trimmed down to a single digit number.

The buildings that will be retained are ones that will enable staff to deliver services fit for the 21st Century. Most of the ones being disposed are simply not suitable for use in modern ways. The flagship of the programme is a new-build at Woodcock Street in Aston, which is almost complete.

FIXED ASSET REGISTER – 5 APRIL 2011

Important note: Fixed Asset values are priced in accordance with local authority accountancy requirements – and therefore don’t automatically reflect current market values.

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There Are 4 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Richard Morris says:

    Lots of assets are duplicated in this list and those duplications have different prices attached. Please explain.

  2. KrisK says:

    Richard

    The ‘duplication’ is quite common because assets can be split into different types, such as a land element and a building element.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Richard Morris says:

    Kris, it would have been easy to have included this information in the register. As it is, your time, my time and doubtless the time of others has been wasted. Can you tell me why a decision was made to keep the information as opaque as possible?

    • KrisK says:

      Richard,

      The information is stored within the FOI/Data section of this website.

      The point of that section (as stated within the introductory page) is to give the media and the public access to answers to some questions which are of interest (or frequently asked by journalists).

      We do this by publishing the response given to an FOI on the topic in question (which in this case was a request for a copy of our fixed asset register).

      Whilst the register may not be in the most digestable form, I am sure you would agree it is still useful for it to be made available in this way.

      I am told that work is in progress to refine the way this information is presented. When that piece of work is complete, we will of course reflect that on this page.

      Thanks for your continued interest in our site.

      Kris

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