Capital strategy

Key objectives and priorities

Our priorities contained in the council plan are:

  • a clean, safe and sustainable borough
  • a borough of opportunity
  • a healthy and active community
  • a co-operative council delivering high quality, community driven services

Capital investment projects will be included in our capital programme on the basis that they address issues arising from one or more of these priority areas. An indication is shown against each project in the programme of the area or areas it addresses.

New proposals for capital investment will be assessed against the corporate priorities to ensure that they will contribute towards achieving the aims expressed. This assessment will be carried out as part of the appraisal process for new projects.

We will also endeavour, through our programme of capital investment, to maintain our assets to a standard such that they remain fit for purpose, enabling continuity of service delivery. In particular, we will carry out regular surveys of our stock of buildings and structures to ascertain their state of repair and any remedial works which may be necessary. Repair or improvement works arising from such surveys will be carried out subject to the availability of resources and consideration of the role the building plays in service delivery and the need to continue the relevant service in order to contribute to meeting corporate priorities. If a building is no longer required for service delivery, it will either be considered for alternative use by us or our partners or disposed of and the proceeds made available for future capital investment in priority areas. All property assets are held to either:

  • provide council services, or
  • provide an investment return, or
  • further regeneration projects

An assets review group has been established, chaired by the Chief Executive. This group keeps our capital investment strategy under continuous review, including the prioritisation of projects for inclusion in future capital investment programmes over the medium term. Regular reviews of the property portfolio will be carried out by the group to identify properties or land which could potentially be disposed of, following a consultation process in the case of significant proposals, and a capital receipt obtained from the sale. Mindful of the current poor market conditions arising from the economic downturn whereby it is possible that significant sales will be slow to arise in the short term, both because of lack of demand and the need to obtain the best sale price, the group will monitor progress in relation to assets approved for sale.

Where suitable 'invest to save' projects can be identified, we will actively pursue such projects, as we recognise the benefits, in the form of reduced costs falling on the general fund revenue account, that can result from such investment.

We will seek, where practicable and economically justifiable, to develop our investment projects having regard to principles of sustainability, for example in relation to materials used and environmentally friendly modes of operation once in use, following construction or purchase.