Feedback sought on land and property management options

We're asking for feedback from local people on possible new approaches to the way we manage the land and property we own.

A new Asset Management Plan is being prepared by the District Council over the coming months, and a six-week public consultation includes an online survey and a presentation by Chief Executive Paul Wilson to a series of community forums this month in Matlock, Bakewell and Ashbourne.

The forums are taking place at Matlock Town Hall on Monday 10 September, the District Council’s Agricultural Business Centre on Tuesday 18 September and at Ashbourne's Henmore Suite, McMurty & Harding Veterinary Practice, the following Tuesday, 25 September. All start at 7pm.

The District Council's assets include its Matlock Town Hall HQ and depots, which support the front line services the authority delivers, plus parks and open spaces that benefit local people and visitors, helping to boost the local economy.

The council also owns retail premises that are let to private businesses, generating rental cash, and land used for the provision of affordable housing for local people.

Mr Wilson said:

"On behalf of local people we want to make the most of the value of these assets and to do this we believe we need to adopt a more commercial focus. This means we may have to change the way we do things to make operational efficiencies and create new funding streams to benefit the local services we deliver for the residents we serve."

The online survey lists four options: in-house asset management, a development partnership via tender procurement, a formal partnership with a private body to create a business, probably taking the form of a Limited Liability Partnership, and a combination approach.

"In each case we have set out the advantages and disadvantages presented by a particular option," Mr Wilson added, "and feedback is most welcome from local people on their preferred choice ahead of the preparation a formal report to our councillors."