Welsh Assembly Government Asset Management Planning Enquiry – January 2013



Ceredigion County Council



Is asset management linked to wider strategic and policy objectives, both in the Welsh Government, and across the wider public sector?

Ceredigion’s Capital Investment Programme is directed by the Council’s Capital Expenditure Working Group (CEWG) which includes the Leader and Deputy Leader, and the Cabinet Members for Corporate Resources, and for Transport, Waste and Carbon Management in order to ensure that it reflects the Council’s Corporate Objectives.


The Director of Highways Property and Works chairs the CEWG as the Corporate Property Officer (CPO) and is a member of the Council’s Management Team.


The Director of Finance attends the Working Group and is also a member of the Council’s Management Team.


All departments are represented at CEWG at Assistant Director level to ensure that Departmental Strategies are linked to the Council’s Corporate Strategic Objectives.

What lessons can, or have, been learnt from existing good practice in Wales, or elsewhere, in relation to approaches to asset management improvement in the public sector.

Council Property Officers regularly attend Training Events organised by the Consortium of Local Authorities in Wales (CLAW) and IPF on Asset Management where Best Practice is regularly discussed so that all Welsh local authorities can learn of developments and improvements in Asset Management.

What progress has been made by the Welsh Government in strategic asset management and implementing initiatives to improve the efficiency of asset management across the Welsh public sector?

The Council embarked on its Transformation Agenda in 2009, which it aims to complete by April 2014. The purpose of this is to review the services we are delivering to the residents of Ceredigion with the aim of delivering the priority services in a more efficient manner without impairing quality. Building Rationalisation is one of the five Thematic Task Groups set up under the Transformation Agenda reporting to the Cross Party Transformation and Efficiency Consultative Group. The Group has focused on achieving the best efficiencies from the property portfolio and over the last few years has achieved a significant reduction in floor area occupied, cashable and cost avoidance savings, service improvements and efficiencies and the establishment of an Invest to Save fund (from the capital programme).

This commitment to invest in the property portfolio has enabled the benefits highlighted above, however, future benefits may be more difficult to achieve and the Group will focus more on developing Service Asset Management Plans; ensuring that buildings are fit for purpose and meet service delivery needs over the next 5-10 year period and challenging the need to retain buildings that are underperforming.

In 2010 the Wales Audit Office made the following recommendations, from your experience, to what extent has progress been made in relation to these?

In 2009, the WAO (Wales Audit Office) carried out a review of Local Authority asset management arrangements and commended Ceredigion County Councils strategic property management arrangements; concluding that the Strategic Property Asset Management Plan (PAMP) was a sound and comprehensive document, but required updating. In 2011, the PAMP underwent a comprehensive, strategic review to reflect the recommendations of the WAO and the many changes that have taken place since the Plan was first prepared. The revised PAMP was approved by the Council’s Cabinet at its meeting on 4 October 2011. The 2012 Property Asset Management Plan represents the first annual review and update of the plan since the strategic review of 2011.

The Assembly Government should enable more effective land and buildings management across Wales by consulting with public bodies to ascertain what further guidance, information, support and incentives may be required to encourage an improved and more co-ordinated approach to the management of land and buildings.

Consultation and Understanding: this is a key element to the delivery of effective asset management and is an integral part of the way we deliver services, form our policies and priorities and how we allocate resources. We consult extensively and act upon feedback in development of our new corporate planning framework and Community Strategy. Our close involvement with key stakeholders, e.g. Education, Health Trust, Police, etc. has helped us develop new corporate objectives which are fully compatible with our partner organisations in delivering services to the community.

In relation to the County Council’s Schools Modernisation Programme, regular consultations have been and are undertaken with stakeholders.

Public Consultation: Ceredigion has established a network of highly effective ways in which to have two-way communication with our customers, citizens and consumers, including:

Community Council Forums

Local and Town Regeneration Groups

Specific interest groups, e.g. leisure, harbours, education, etc.


User Consultation: an integral part of the Councils approach to improving service delivery and achieving best value. The process involves consultation with both internal and external stakeholders and we listen and act accordingly, for example, extensive pre and post contract consultation was undertaken in providing the new Council offices at Aberystwyth.

Ensure land and buildings strategies are up to date and link clearly with corporate and service objectives.

Discussions are regularly held at CEWG meetings, Building Rationalisation Group Meetings etc. to ensure that land and buildings strategies are up to date and link clearly with corporate and service objectives

Involve all stakeholders in the development of land and buildings strategies with ownership of the strategies at the highest level.

See above regarding stakeholders.


Develop service land and buildings plans which link to the corporate land and buildings strategy.

The County Council is currently in the process of updating its Service Asset Management Plans.  

Integrate land and buildings management with service planning, workforce planning and ICT strategies, doing more to improve utilisation through flexible working and land and buildings rationalisation.

See above

Ensure roles and responsibilities for managing land and buildings are clearly defined, understood and communicated.

The Director of Highways Property and Works chairs the CEWG as the Corporate Property Officer (CPO) and is a member of the Council’s Management Team.