One Public Estate
Arthur Pritchard – Senior Surveyor –
One Public Estate
18th September 2014
One Public Estate Programme
In the Heseltine review, there was criticism that there was often disconnected thinking
between Local Government, Central Government and other public bodies resulting in
inefficient working practices.
The Government Property Unit (GPU) was established as part of the Cabinet Office
to rationalise the Central Government Property Estate.
Warrington Council was selected as one of twelve local authorities to take part
in the One Public Estate (OPE) Pilot Programme for 2013/14 funded by the GPU
with the support of the Local Government Association (LGA).
Others: Bristol, Cheshire West & Chester, Essex, Hampshire, Hull, Leeds,
Nottingham, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Surrey, Worcestershire.
The Council’s aspiration for the programme was that it was an opportunity to work
collaboratively with Central Government and, given that much of the public sector
property stock was of a similar age, there would be opportunities for rationalising the
public sector estate thereby creating both development opportunities and occupier
demand for planned regeneration projects, particularly in the town centre.
One Public Estate Programme
From the LGA/GPU perspective the pilot was
expected to produce clear outcomes, including:
• Land disposed;
• Services reconfigured to include central
government function;
• Land cleared for housing or other growth uses;
• Running costs saved;
• Capital receipts raised.
OPE Year 1 Outcomes
Perceived success of stage 1 and the roll out to a second stage for 2014/15. The
original twelve authorities are continuing in the programme and will be joined by
twenty new authorities which include the majority of the AGMA councils along with the
likes of Cornwall and Liverpool. The Council will receive additional government grant
funding of £20,000.
Across the twelve pilots there had been savings in running costs amounting to some
£21million and generated capital receipts of £88million.
Facilitated by the GPU and LGA, a much more collaborative approach with local
government is being taken to the development of policy and processes to enable
public sector partnership working at a local level.
Increasing central/local involvement with the DWP.
Increased partnership working with Community Health Partnerships (CHP), head
tenant of the LIFT estate, which will encourage the alignment of OPE activity with
CHP asset rationalisation programmes in localities, as well as help facilitate
integrated health and social care services.
Growing influence of GPU in enforcement of National Property Controls.
OPE Year 1 Outcomes
Cheshire West & Chester – A proposed new public sector hub for Ellesmere Port
Leeds – An integrated health and social care service
Portsmouth – Co-location of Police and Council Services
Sheffield – A new community hub for Burngreave
Surrey – A new town centre strategy for Staines-upon-Thames
Worcestershire – A new public sector joint property vehicle by April 2015
‘A more formal, permanent arrangement of the already successful collaboration group
to drive public sector savings from the property portfolios.’
Creation of a public sector owned company, ownership retained by existing owners –
sovereignty with benefits accruing to relevant owners.
A single efficient estate managed by a single body. Equal stake and voting rights. But
Legal issues NHS (involvement in limited company)
OPE Year 1 Key Learning Points
“Collaboration can take effort, emotional resilience and courage. There are
significant barriers to collaboration, including power struggles,
institutional inertia, lack of passion and time, changes in leadership and
(From a report “Collaborative Working” by Emily Miles, Director of Policing; Home Office)
– Service delivery should be the key driver and property the facilitator
– A need to develop strong relationships and an understanding of partners’
priorities. Everyone needs to be able to demonstrate real savings or service
improvements to their staff and customers.
– Profile - variable depending on the organisation
– Access to the decision-makers
– Multiple decision-makers within and across organisations
– Conflicting and unaligned priorities
– Individual governance and approval processes
– Commitment – resource intensive cuts reduce ability and willingness to engage
in partnership working
– Local leadership – Members and senior managers will provide momentum
– The basis of occupation – A sticking point. Talk early about space sharing and
the level of financial remuneration
A Solution?
Corporate Public Sector Landlord
A logical extension to the local property forum. Arms length and independent
from individual members with responsibility for strategic asset planning and
A joined up, single perspective of how resources are used to drive greater growth
across the collective estate.
Some advantages:
Capital Receipts
Regeneration & Growth
Operational Efficiencies
Single Estates Plan
Disposal across partners’ estates (Marriage Value/Release of
surplus assets)
Removal of complex and multiple management structures
Closer relationships with LEP and Economic Growth teams
A Solution?
Corporate Public Sector Landlord
‘?Self Preservation?’ ‘?Autonomy?’
Federation: A group of states with a central government but independence
in internal affairs
Some safeguards:
Equal representation
Robust management
Clear accountabilities and responsibilities
Shareholders able to exercise their interest
No asset transfer
Capital receipts flow back to asset owners
OPE Stage 2 – 2014/15
The proposed outputs for year 2 of the Programme are, in the main, a
continuation of the work from phase 1, but at the same time, build on some of the
lessons learnt during the first twelve months of the pilot. The funding and support of
the LGA/GPU will be harnessed to maintain and develop the project management
function in support of the Warrington Public Sector Property Group. The
development of the Group has been one of the key successes of the past twelve
months and there is a real appetite amongst its members for continued and
enhanced collaboration.
There is a need to further develop both the profile of the pilot programme and the
governance arrangements.
Particular focus and interest has centred on the proposed Bridge Street Hub in
Warrington Town Centre and the emergence of a clear timeline to 2018.
Discussions revealed a convergence of individual ambitions affecting WBC,
Cheshire Constabulary, Ministry of Justice, NHS and DWP (and potentially others).
Emerging estates strategies from DWP, Ministry of Justice (Probation) and the wider
NHS will inform this further.
Some Local Issues
Cheshire Constabulary
Immediate requirement - Prominent Town Centre location for PCSO
touchdown/surgery (24/7).
Key Pressure: Charles Stewart House - high rent. Eight years remaining on
lease. Property is opposite Arpley House/Court complex, therefore
proposed Bridge Street Hub could present a rounded solution.
New model of policing - deployment centres, open plan, general access to
public sector buildings ('police posts') - Being trialled in Ellesmere Port but
intended to roll out to the rest of the country.
Key Pressure: Under-occupied LIFT buildings (Renovo) - Garven Place,
Orford Park, Child Development Centre, Orford - Drive for occupation via
Proposed Estates Strategy (see later)
Some Local Issues
Cheshire Fire & Rescue
Recent review has led to Increase in number of stations from 25 to 29 but
consequences will be the scale of operation at existing stations. Generally,
locations are about right but scale will now be an issue. Raises prospect of
disposal/part disposal/co-location/relocation.
The future: Knight Report - Police/Council/North West*
Ministry of Justice
Combined Court, Legh Street - Freehold (preferred consolidation location)
Three Court sites in town size of Warrington is unusual
Magistrates Court, Arpley Street - Not fit for purpose. Link to Police interest in
Bridge Street Hub.
Probation Service, Friarsgate - L/H. Two separate landlords
Priority within MoJ considered to be reform of the Probation Service but lack of
Some Local Issues
Homes & Communities Agency
Statutory duty to improve the supply and quality of housing in England.
As from April 2015 an enhanced land disposal role for Government adding
value to surplus public sites to increase housing and economic growth.
Arpley House – HCA/CCG
Department for Work & Pensions
Three Warrington sites - Hilden House, Nolan House and Bridgewater Place,
Birchwood. All three sites are provided under the PRIME contact via Trillium
and are "core" sites. Contract expires 2018. Ongoing review of the back office
function, which is due to report in March.
Warrington & Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Adoption of new estates strategy which has direct implications for their
operations in Warrington and specifically the Hospital site. Planned work will
focus on the improvement of the clinical offer on the site at the expense of
back-office activities. Requirement for good office accommodation for upwards
of 180 staff within a reasonable distance of the town centre hospital site.
Strategic estates planning
• Department of Health is committed to strategic estates
planning through CHP and LIFT Companies (in areas
covered by LIFT) and NHS Property in other areas
• Reciprocal support arrangements between NHS
Property and CHP being sibling companies owned by
• Committed to working in close collaboration with “One
Public Estate” and Government Property Unit
The Offer
• CHP will actively support strategic estates planning
across the public estate – prepared to provide resources
for this purpose
• LIFT Company already engaged in strategic estates
planning across Merseyside. Keen to include wider
public service in potential Warrington study.
A proposal
• LSP sponsors work of One Public Estate in Warrington?
• Key agencies develop shared strategic plans to:
– Promote service integration
– Sweat assets to deliver efficiency savings
– Support economic regeneration through location of
– Anticipate new ways of working and projected headcount
– Raise quality and exploit technological opportunity
• Capacity modelling by LIFT Company
Phase 2 Strategic Estates Plan
Strategic Estates Plan
Locality Summary Plans
Locality plans providing capacity information allowing
commissioners to make informed decisions about the
impact of relocation and reorganisation of services.
Opportunities identified for change projects to enable
efficiencies and rationalisation of estate.
NHS has the information and vision to contribute to the
broader whole system estate planning with local
Authorities, voluntary and private sector.

Public Sector Estate Presentation