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Estates services for Essex County Council

We have established a long term partnership with Essex County Council (ECC) since our appointment in 1994.

We provide estates management and transactional services to the Council’s 1000+ key property interests with an asset value in the region of £1.4bn.

Contract renewal alongside MITIE

In December 2011, we were reappointed by ECC for a further 10 years alongside MITIE, who provides the Council with facilities management services.

Services we provide to ECC include:

  • Day to day property management including rent collection, freehold and leasehold acquisitions and disposals, and rent reviews
  • Management of rural sub consultants
  • Valuation appraisals
  • Valuations for accounting and insurance purposes
  • Rating audit and appeals
  • Compulsory purchase and compensation
  • Planning applications
  • Property strategy
  • Development appraisals

Support for Council’s capital receipts programme

Over the course of our work with ECC, we have delivered some significant benefits which have enabled it to drive down the costs of its operational property portfolio while improving efficiency.

Between 2003 and 2009, we supported the Council’s capital receipts programme, which generated in excess of £170m. We drove more than 50 open market disposals and 94 named party disposals during this period and continue to support our client under our new contract. We are currently in year three of a four year programme to achieve £60m (annual target therefore £15m). We have assisted the Council to achieve £15.725 in 2010/11 and £23.64 in 2011/12 (albeit that £18m of this reflects a land transaction which secured a new school building in lieu of a cash receipt). 

Improving efficiency through process re-engineering

We have also supported a process of clarification and change to the property systems used. The current efficiency agenda means that our processes are more important than ever, and we continue to work to minimise the administrative burden of the contract without loss of control of our 2000 instructions.

Valuations, planning and financial modelling

We have supported the Essex team in a total portfolio review, and the modelling of future portfolio options. Of particular note was the valuation of key portfolio assets (around 400) on an open market basis over a six week period. This provided individual planning commentary for each asset to identify its potential.

We are also regularly offering advice to ECC’s partners, particularly the District Councils, where we are able to seek joint venture opportunities for efficiency savings, while providing standard professional advice.

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