Issue - meetings
Asset Disposals and Capital Receipts Generated 2018/19
That the report be noted.
The Chief Officer (Housing & Assets) presented the annual report summarising land disposals and realisation of capital receipts during 2018/19. Capital receipts were aligned to contribute towards the Council’s programme of capital schemes, consisting of both large and small scale across all portfolios. A reminder was given of the revenue implications from capital expenditure and the continued reduction in Welsh Government (WG) support for capital expenditure.
In response to a questions from Allan Rainford, the Chief Officer clarified the process for disposing of surplus assets including the opportunity to bring them back into use through Community Asset Transfers. He said that all portfolios were engaged with the process and assets were reviewed on a regular basis.
The Chief Officer (Governance) said that the most recent review of the process, which had helped to strengthen arrangements, had received favourable assurance by Internal Audit.
Councillor Heesom spoke about the need for transparency and Member involvement on capital receipts. He also suggested that the Capital Programme could enable portfolio expenditure to be modified to release pressure on the Revenue Budget. The Chief Officer (Housing & Assets) referred to use of capital resources on projects such as the extension of Marleyfield and the overall impact on maintenance costs. The valuation process involved the District Valuer or private sector organisations for specialist local advice, in accordance with the principles, with outcomes reported to the Capital Assets Programme Board.
In response to the Chairman’s comments about historic arrangements, officers said that the Capital Assets Programme Board, which was not a decision-making body, was effective in regularly reviewing asset disposals to support the Capital Programme. Disposals above the required threshold were reported to Cabinet.
When asked by Sally Ellis about capital receipts generated from agricultural estates, the Chief Officer said that the process was more complex involving a longer lead-in period. He described the proactive approach to engage with tenants to understand their future plans noting that whilst some who were under the old Agricultural Act tenancies had succession rights, the current model was to use Farm Business Tenancies. On termination of tenancies, vacant farms were placed on the open market and were effectively marketed for sale through specialist agricultural agencies.
The Chairman said that recommendations in reports should be more meaningful. This was acknowledged by the Chief Executive who said that officers should consider more proactive resolutions as demonstrated in reports to Overview & Scrutiny committees.
That the report be noted.