1. That Cabinet supported the proposals for theStrategic Asset Review programme andassociated funding requirements.
2. Cabinet approved the allocation of £116k from the Dacorum Development reserve to finance the current shortfall in the General Fund financing for this project.
3. Cabinet approved the reallocation of £96k of Housing Revenue Account (HRA)
contribution to capital budget, to support the HRA elements of this project
1. That Cabinet supports the proposals for the Strategic Asset Review programme and associated funding requirements.
2. Cabinet approves the allocation of £116k from the Dacorum Development reserve to finance the current shortfall in the General Fund financing for this project.
3. Cabinet approves the reallocation of £96k of Housing Revenue Account (HRA) contribution to capital budget, to support the HRA elements of this project.
A clean, safe and enjoyable environment
Building strong and vibrant communities
Ensuring economic growth and prosperity
Providing good quality affordable homes, in particular for those most in need
Ensuring efficient, effective and modern service delivery
Climate and ecological emergency
Statutory Officer Comments:
There are no issues to highlight at this stage and the legal team will ensure that relevant advice and guidance is provided as the project progresses to the delivery options appraisal stage under workstream 3.
The Dacorum Development reserve was set up to support future development opportunities. This project’s core aim is to assess the most appropriate investment opportunities and methods of achieving the greatest outcomes, so use of this reserve is appropriate.
The HRA budget has a revenue contribution to capital in place to provide funds for future investment. This project will outline the most appropriate and efficient investment opportunities relating to the HRA assets and hence the use of this one-off financing is appropriate.
Cllr Symington noted the proposed review that will look to make the best use of council assets and generate long-term income streams to support the delivery of services for residents across Dacorum.
C Silva Donayre noted the need to ensure that they are making the best use of council assets to support the ambitions in place for Dacorum. The series of assessments will support aims for housing, regeneration and place improvements, and opportunities will be sought to generate long-term income streams to support wider service delivery and achieve strategic objectives.
D Barratt provided an overview of the proposal, advising that the work will be split into three work streams with the first being a high-level review of all assets across the portfolio. The second stream will focus on a more detailed assessment of individual asset segments, including housing estates, garages, supported housing sites and neighbourhood centres. This work will highlight opportunities to pipeline new opportunities and projects. The third work stream will look at how best to deliver any emerging projects.
Cllr Birnie commented that he was surprised that they are proposing to spend £516k given the pressure on the general fund, which is being partially funded by drawing down from the reserves. Cllr Birnie suggested that it was not the time to spend £516k on these activities given the other areas this money could be spent on. Cllr Birnie asked whether it was the right time to spend this money.
N Howcutt advised that, for the general fund, there are contributions to reserves both in 2022-23 and 2023-24 and the general fund is not being supported by reserves. Regarding the overall asset base, N Howcutt advised there is almost £2m of assets on the balance sheet and a strategic asset review has not been carried out for a period of time, stating that it would be remiss of the organisation to not review the assets to maximise the use of these for residents and local communities across the borough. N Howcutt advised that they would be taking a coordinated approach and that this is helping to drive down the cost as much as possible, adding that much of this work will take 2-3 years when it is hoped that the economy will have improved and the Council can benefit from this.
C Silva Donayre commented that they need to look at maximising the assets to drive both income and efficiencies to support the wider ambitions for the borough around housing regeneration in the future.
The Chair asked how often asset reviews should be held. N Howcutt advised that they would look to carry out an asset review every 3-4 years and the last review took place in 2019 with some programmes identified at this point no longer able to proceed due to the pandemic.
D Barratt noted the responsibility to carry out long-term financial asset planning through the housing revenue and business planning that comes to Cabinet on an annual basis and that there is an expectation to carry out regular reviews of assets to check these remain fit for purpose.
Cllr Birnie referred to the amount of pressure on officers and that a large part of this works relies on consultants. The Chair suggested that it would be preferable to focus on this work now.
Cabinet supported the proposals for the programme of works and funding required for the first phase