Essex asset management programme reaches new heights!
An innovative asset management programme in Essex is gaining momentum with considerable progress being made by a new Essex Property Partnership. This Partnership, established by Improvement East, brings together all seventeen local authorities and emergency services in the County and is overseeing a programme of collaborative projects which are supported by CLG as examples of good practice. The Essex Property Partnership Board is chaired by Cllr. Derrick Louis the Essex County Council portfolio holder for procurement, property and major projects.
The programme itself was born out of recommendations in a report commissioned by Improvement East in 2010 called "East 17 - Sizing the Prize" which is available on Improvement East's website here.
As part of this programme, Improvement East is providing project management support to create a Public Sector Campus in Clacton. Three key players; Essex County Council, Tendring District and a cluster of Heath organisations, emerged from a well attended workshop held in January 2012. These key partners are now working together to draft a business case for consideration by the Essex Property Partnership in June.
The preferred option is based on a geographically defined public sector campus. This is likely to comprise 5 buildings in Clacton, housing face to face [hub] services, support staff and peripatetic workers. The Hub elements will provide supported self service and access to a range of customer contact services including health, library, adult education, housing, town planning.
High level support has been demonstrated by partner organisations and critical friends from around the region have been engaged to ensure that a best practice approach is embedded. The key objective is to improve public services, both from the perspective of customer experience and service efficiency.
These services are currently supported by 800 staff from 14 separate locations around Clacton, with annual running costs of around £1.5m. Significant backlog maintenance issues are continuing to accrue and the overall presentation of the public estate provides a very poor image.
In Asset Management terms, implementation of the preferred option is likely to result in the disposal of 9 poor quality buildings accompanied by greatly improved utilisation of 5 existing assets, the consequential elimination of backlog maintenance liability and a 35% reduction in overall running costs and energy consumption.
A refurbishment led approach has clear advantages in terms of the speed of implementation and in public perception. Although an element of new build will be required to facilitate the integration of face to face services, as existing structures are not capable of being adapted for modern and efficient service delivery. The project is capable of being delivered within 5 years and is therefore likely to have significant benefits over a major new build project.
For more information contact Andrew Rowson at Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org (07887 633451) or Duncan Blackie at email@example.com (07951 515702)