Disused council and police buildings could be rented out in a bid to release millions of pounds to reinvest in frontline services, a finance boss said today.
Andy Burns made the claim as it was announced property worth £350 million could be leased out.
The director of finance at Staffordshire County Council said: “As a county council, we have less resources but demand is still increasing for our services.
“The county council, in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis, wants to find new ways to unlock the potential of its property and land estate and potentially release millions to reinvest in Staffordshire.”
He added the move would ‘bring in fresh revenue to reinvest in frontline services, generate economic growth and help promote jobs across Staffordshire’.
The county council and Mr Ellis aim to team up with a commercial property partner to review 400 buildings and offices that are lying dormant.
Ian Parry, cabinet member for finance, resources and transformation, said: “We own around 400 buildings and offices and it makes sense to see if we are getting the maximum value and use of every single one. If there is space we want to look at how we can make better use of it.
“The partnership will bring in commercial expertise, which will allow us to take a fresh look at our property and land to ensure we are getting the most for every taxpayer’s pound.” The county council’s property portfolio is worth an estimated £300m while the police own buildings worth £50m.
If the partnership is agreed the council and the police would retain ownership of the buildings and have the final say on any proposals. School buildings would be excluded from being rented out.
A report on the proposals will be put before the cabinet on October 16 and another will be brought before Mr Ellis on October 25.