Mark Drakeford, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government
The Welsh Government, through the National Assets Working Group (NAWG), has been working to identify and promote the savings and benefits which can be achieved from the public sector estate through proactive and collaborative strategic asset management.
The ongoing challenging financial climate for public services in Wales, as a result of the UK Government’s policy of austerity, means we must innovate and work together and smarter to deliver excellent public services for people in Wales. It is essential that public services work collaboratively to tackle pressures and achieve value for money from all available resources.
The Welsh Government funded a Welsh public sector collaborative estate pilot in the Cwm Taf area. The final report is published today.
The report confirms there are significant opportunities if public services work together and take a more strategic approach to property and property management across geographical and organisational boundaries. It highlights opportunities to integrate services; improve customer experience; create wider efficiencies; rationalise estate and improve the quality of public service assets by investing more in fewer, shared physical assets.
The Cwm Taf regional pilot programme has the potential to deliver the following benefits, according to the report:
• New homes from surplus public sector land release;
• Significantly enhanced, customer-focused services through integrated service planning and a better estate to support service delivery;
• Reduced annual running costs as a result of a rationalisation of public sector estate and the prudent purchasing of property services;
• Capital receipts from the release of surplus public sector land and strategic brownfield sites, creating a fund for future investment;
• New jobs associated with the development of surplus land and service improvements.
The study has given public services in the Cwm Taf area a better understanding of their collective estate and service delivery plans and how a collaborative approach offers the opportunity to deliver greater outcomes. I will meet the public service board to understand how it will take forward the report’s recommendations, including the proposed programme of work.
As part of the Local Government Reform White Paper, I announced the Welsh Government’s 2017-18 Budget included £2m to support this collaborative working agenda. The National Assets Working Group will take forward the report’s national recommendations as part of the Asset Collaboration Programme Wales.
There are clear opportunities for the public sector throughout Wales to make better use of its assets. Key to realizing this will be strengthening collaboration between organisations and a place-based approach to make the best use of our collective resources.
Welsh Government | A Regional Approach to Collaboration