Latest Public Sector News

11.04.16

New £500,000 funding available in One Public Estate programme

The next phase of the One Public Estate initiative has begun, with grants of up to £500,000 available for council projects to use public sector assets more efficiently.

The opportunity comes after the Government announced an additional £31 million in last November’s Autumn Statement to further expand the programme to make public land and property work harder for local areas.

More than 100 councils in 24 partnerships joined the scheme in December.

However, the UK’s government’s efforts to reduce public estate have often fallen short of goals. A recent PSE FoI request found that there have been just six sales under the Right to Contest scheme, created to allow members of the public to challenge public estate they believe to be surplus to be released for sale.

Lord Porter, chair of the Local Government Association (LGA), said: “Through One Public Estate, councils have shown that they are in the perfect position to act as leaders of place and deliver effective cross public sector asset management.

“Councils are already the most efficient part of the public sector, and they have reaped impressive rewards for their communities through their leadership on the programme, unlocking land to create vital homes and jobs, helping services to work better together, and bringing in money while generating savings for the future.”

He added that the goal was to see all councils signed up to the scheme by 2018.

Kristian Scholfield, senior associate solicitor within Geldards’ specialist public services team, wrote for PSE last year about the benefits of streamlining public sector property.

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