Latest Public Sector News

14.12.15

Over 100 councils join next wave of One Public Estate initiative

More than 100 councils in 24 partnerships will join together to use their assets more efficiently to deliver service transformation as part of the third phase of the One Public Estate programme. 

The extension of the project, which is delivered in partnership between the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Cabinet Office Government Property Unit, will be funded by an additional £37m investment. The programme is about selling off unnecessary buildings, and making more efficient and streamlined use of the public estate. 

This is formed from £6m promised by the chancellor in his Summer Budget and a further £31m in the Autumn Statement. 

Phase 3 of the One Public Estate Programme will be delivered at a “greater scale and pace” than previously seen. It will see partnerships of local authorities looking to deliver major service transformation, large-scale economic growth and efficiencies across local authority boundaries, city-regions and devolved areas. 

Matthew Hancock, the minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, said: “The One Public Estate programme runs seamlessly through central and local government to save money for taxpayers, whilst delivering more efficient public services. 

“It’s a very exciting piece of work that will support a record number of local authorities to be more ambitious and operate at a faster pace than ever before.” 

Cornwall Council is one of the local authorities in the third phase and will receive £470,000 as part of the project. It will focus on shared facilities and buildings between blue light services, with the authority’s first tri-service community emergency service station at Hayle, and supporting health and social care integration through shared buildings. 

Cabinet member for localism at Cornwall Council, Jeremy Rowe, said the funding demonstrates the government’s confidence in the authority’s ability to make best use of its estate, which is a key part of its devolution deal

Through phases 1 and 2 of One Public Estate, which launched in 2013, councils have already developed initiatives that are expected to deliver 9,000 homes, 20,000 jobs, £129m property sales and a £77m reduction in public sector running costs over a five-year period. 

LGA chairman Lord Porter, said: “Through One Public Estate, councils have shown that they are perfectly placed to act as leaders of place and deliver effective cross public sector asset management. 

“Councils, which are already the most efficient part of the public sector, 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.” 

For a list of participating partnerships, councils involved and funding provided in Phase 3, click here.

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