Proposed Asset Management Fund - Detail of Allocations
1) General Property Improvements
1a) Workstyles Phase 4: £250,000
Workstyles is a corporate modernisation programme, established to improve office space and enable flexible, safe and secure working across a range of operational sites. The programme has contributed to the council’s Medium Term Financial Strategy and Capital Investment Programme by consolidating the council’s operational portfolio, delivering revenue savings of over £4m, and generating capital receipts in excess of £30m. The Asset Management Fund has supported the delivery of the Workstyles programme, contributing to the development of business cases, feasibility studies and professional surveys, as well as funding capital improvements to operational buildings that further enable flexible working and improve accessibility.
Reprioritisation of Workstyles programme
The Workstyles programme has been developed to support the corporate strategic priorities of increasing the housing stock, generating community wealth and social value, and achieving a carbon neutral city by 2030. These priorities were reviewed alongside the programme’s primary objective of enabling flexible and accessible working across the council’s operational portfolio.
Current projects within the Workstyles Programme (not all of which are supported by the Asset Management Fund) include:
Moulsecoomb Neighbourhood Hub – Proposals for a new neighbourhood hub in Moulsecoomb will provide accommodation for a range of council and partnership services (including Library Services, Health, Youth Services, Community Space, Adult Learning, Sports & Leisure), and release surplus land for development into approximately 212 new council homes. New Social Work office facilities have been provided through the development of Portslade Hub to support the extension of the housing scheme. The project is also supported by One Public Estate grant funding.
Hollingdean Depot offices – aligned with the wider City Environment modernisation programme, a Workstyles project has been established to review and modernise office accommodation at Hollingdean Depot to devise and implement flexible working practices within the City Clean service.
Ways of Working – Accommodation Strategy
As part of the council’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the Ways of Working group is developing proposals for how the council will operate in the future. This includes an organisation-wide accommodation strategy that seizes the opportunities presented by the pandemic through hybrid working. The aims of the accommodation strategy are to:
· Enable greater flexibility and choice for staff over where and how they work
· Redesign council-owned workspace to encourage greater collaboration between staff, partners and residents
· Explore opportunities to rationalise the operational portfolio, supporting the council’s medium term financial strategy and reducing the council’s carbon footprint
· Align with other corporate strategies emerging from the pandemic recovery work e.g. Customer Experience, Digital, and Organisational Development
The 2023/24 Asset Management Fund contribution to Workstyles will support continued delivery of these projects, as well as new projects that emerge through regular review of the operational estate, provided that proposals align with the Administration’s strategic priorities, as outlined above.
1b) Bartholomew House (Boiler Replacement and associated works): £275,000
This budget allocation is connected to the comprehensive replacement of gas boilers and associated works to the heating system and controls at Bartholomew House. The budget will replace life expired and unreliable equipment facilitating ongoing use of the building.
1c) Bartholomew House (Ventilation works): £250,000
This budget allocation is connected to the installation of fresh air plant and comfort heating / cooling to conference rooms on floors 1-3 of Bartholomew House and will support the health and wellbeing of all using these spaces.
1d) Energy Performance Certificates: £35,000
Properties need to have a minimum EPC Rating of an ‘E’ in order to be able to be leased and by 2023 all properties that are leased are required to have a minimum E Rating. The Council has a number of ‘F’ and ‘G’ rated properties and works are required to these to bring them up to an ‘E’ Rating in order to be able to lease them thereby securing an income.
On average it costs £3k-£5k to bring a property up to the required rating so this £35k contribution would improve around ten properties.
2) Equality Act Improvements: £35,000
2a The access improvement budget will continue to support projects that
improve physical and sensory access for people with disabilities to the council’s
public building and spaces.
Actual and potential projects will be determined as part of an ongoing programme of access improvement works.
3) Property Related Health & Safety Legislation
3a) Asbestos Management: £20,000
Allocation contributing towards a centralised corporate fund to meet the actions
as detailed in the corporate asbestos surveys. This fund is used to manage the
risk and prevent exposure and the spread of Asbestos Containing Material and is
prioritised in the Corporate Asbestos Register.
3b) Legionella Works (L8): £20,000
On-going works are required to council properties to ensure the water management of the council’s property portfolio is meeting the requirements of the Approved Code of Practice – HES-L8 to prevent the occurrence of legionella in installed equipment and water systems.
3c) Fire Risk Assessment Works: £125,000
This bid will contribute towards a prioritised rolling programme of works to council properties following Fire Risk Assessments of council properties.
Various works have been identified and this bid will allow the highest priority works to be completed in accordance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
For example, fire stopping works have been identified as being required at Brighton
Town Hall and fire stopping and fire door upgrades at New England House. The works to New England House are informed by return of a specialist Fire Compartmentation Survey and will be specified following further planned intrusive survey work to confirm expected deficiencies in fire stopping and compartmentation. This survey work is programmed to be completed early 2023.
The budget allocation will support the replacement of fire alarm panels and detectors identified as in need of replacement including at Brighton Town Hall and Hollingdean Children’s Centre.