Agenda and draft minutes

Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee
Tuesday, 10th July, 2018 3.00 pm

Venue: Bridges Room - Civic Centre. View directions

Contact: Sonia Stewart - Tel: 0191433 3045 - Email:  soniastewart@gateshead.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

CR1

Consultation on the Refresh of the Corporate Asset Strategy

Presentation by Strategic Director, Corporate Services and Governance

Minutes:

The Committee received an update of the proposed objectives set out in the 2018/2019 update of the Corporate Asset Strategy and Management Plan

2015-2020 (CASMP).

 

A number of questions arising from the presentation were raised and addressed by officers. The following questions remained outstanding and it was agreed that officers would make appropriate enquiries and provide councillors with a response.

 

Question 1

 

The question was raised as to why home owners paid more rent for council garages than council house tenants. As the council is looking to maximise income should it not be charging market rent for all parties.

 

Response

 

There are a number of reasons for the difference in rental levels paid by council tenants and non-council tenants. One being that the Council charge VAT according to Inland Revenue guidelines and all VAT monies collected are passed over to them.

 

VAT is therefore charged on garage rents where they are occupied by non-council tenants.

 

Another being that the Council  agreed in 1989 to raise the rents charged to commercial and private individuals to achieve a fairer return. This decision was made as  it was considered that   rents charged for garages owned by other landlords were well above the level set by the Council.

 

The Council operates a system whereby rents collected are ‘pooled’ to cover all charges such as loan/debt charges, repair costs and management fees

 

Question 2

 

A number of councillors raised the issue of access and condition of garages, garage sites and allotments.

 

Response

 

Within the Council’s Tenanted Non-Residential Portfolio there are:

 

Garage sites                                       43 (Plots 319) (the garages themselves do not

                                                                                    belong to the Council, they are

                                                                                    owned by the plot tenant)

Allotment sites                                    59 (Plots 1328)

 

The garages within the Tenanted Non-Residential Portfolio are owned by the occupier and as such the responsibility for their repair sits with the occupier.  It is only the plot that the occupier rents from the Council. The rent payable for the plots is low as a result the income generated is not significant. This can be seen from the revenue outturn for 2017/18:

 

Garages

Income              £12,934                  

Expenditure      £ 213     

Nett Income      £12,721                  

Staff time          £ 2,979

 

Allotments

Income             £49,903                  

Expenditure      £86,547 

Nett Income      £ -36,643                

Staff time           £63,000

 

Removing fly tipped material and undertaking minor repairs and maintenance are the main areas of expenditure and it can be seen from the figures above across the garage plots and the allotments expenditure exceeds income as such there are no funds available to carry out any major works to improve the access roads. A bid could be made against the capital programme; however, it is doubtful this would be supported as it would not enhance income and bids for other projects are likely to be considered to be more of a priority.

 

The Council also holds both garage sites and garages within the Housing Revenue Account and are included in the Asset Strategy for Council owned stock sitting in the HRA. A stock condition exercise was undertaken during 2016/17.  This is  ...  view the full minutes text for item CR1