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007/2015: Approval for a new estates strategy for North Yorkshire Police – 17 June 2015

Executive Summary and recommendation:

The Commissioner is asked to approve the new Estates Strategy for North Yorkshire Police, which sets out the broad direction of travel for estates provision.

The full detail of the forward strategy contains commercially sensitive information and begins to consider future year options.  It is restricted to protect future commercial considerations.  However, the key content of the strategy is included below.  This includes the overarching principles and future developments and considers opportunities to create alternative ways to engage with communities, for the public to engage with us and for the public to access services, including digital technologies.

North Yorkshire Police requires an estate which is affordable and sustainable, which aligns with the operational needs of the force and which supports the future direction of the organisation, prioritising frontline local policing within the community.  It also needs for the future to take into account the development of other ways for the public to make contact, access information and be kept informed.  This will increasingly include the use of technology.  The ability to modernise ways of communicating, embrace digital options and reduce reliance on static physical locations is one way in which North Yorkshire Police will modernise its services and meet the future funding challenge.

The current estate comprises some 75 buildings, sites and office spaces with a total running cost of approximately £5m per annum, and with additional maintenance costs of between £1m and £3m per year.  In recent years, operational requirements have altered, resulting in over provision of accommodation in some locations and a mismatch between premises and operational need.  Under-utilised facilities incur running and maintenance costs which do not represent good value for money.  There has also been a growth of alternative mechanisms by which the public can contact the Police.  Face to face contact at police stations has diminished significantly over time. This means this method is rarely now the most effective way for the public to make contact, with others being used far more frequently

Planned changes across the force will impact on the future estates requirement, including

  • Closer collaboration with public sector partners
  • The introduction of mobile technology, to allow a frontline officer to operate from the “patch” rather than returning to a police station to access computer facilities
  • More flexible deployment of the workforce, including the promotion and development of agile working
  • Embracing digital technology and different ways to access and deliver services

Taking all of these factors into account, it is clear that the current estate profile no longer aligns with the organisation’s direction of travel, nor with financial imperatives, and a new Estates Strategy has been prepared.   This rolls out in phases – the first being 2015 to 2017.  Future phases will adopt key principles and will be developed over time.

The proposal is that police services will be delivered through three tiers:

Tier 1: Core operational hubs; which will typically include essential core police and back office activities including Force Control Room locations, Custody locations, Investigative Hubs and facilities to store and retain property and exhibits.

Tier 2: Deployment/Response bases, strategically located across the force to supplement the core operational hubs and provide operational coverage to mitigate Threat, Risk and Harm.   These bases may be shared with other public services.

Tier 3: Local community “touchpoints” will provide a range of mechanisms to increase and enhance the opportunity for the public to engage with the police, including mobile police stations, online “real time” contact and community based information points.  These may include mobile Gateway access via either shared multi-agency public access points or virtual access (online/self service).

A number of the proposals in Phase One have already been considered and approved.  A communications and public consultation plan will be developed for the remaining proposals in Phase One, and a Decision Notice will be brought to Executive Board as soon as possible to seek approval to commence implementation, and put the detail for the remaining Phase One items into the public domain.  For subsequent Phases a similar process will be followed – ie detailed communication and public consultation plans and a Decision Notice putting the detail of the whole of the Phase in the Public Domain before it commences.  However, this will be over a longer timescale to allow national, regional and local developments and opportunities to be taken into account.  Equally, should operational requirements change or new opportunities arise the strategy and plan will be reconsidered and will be kept under continual review. 

Individual disposals and acquisitions of properties in line with the agreed Estates Strategy and approved Phases will be authorised in accordance with the Police and Crime Commissioners Property Procedure Rules, Standing Orders and Financial Regulations.  Material changes to the proposals will revert to Executive Board for approval.


(1) It is recommended that approval is given to adopt the proposed Estates Strategy.  A further Decision Notice to seek approval for those Phase One items not already approved will be brought to Executive Board.

(2) It is recommended that:

(i) responsibility for detailed governance of the Estates Strategy is delegated to the Estates and IT Strategy Board (under the Chairmanship of the Chief Executive Officer), in conjunction with the two Chief Finance Officers;  and

(ii) authorisation of revenue contracts for re-provisioning of services and for relevant capital expenditure, in line with Phases’ already approved and put into the Public Domain, is delegated in line with Property Procedure Rules, Standing Orders and Financial Regulations;  and

(iii)  retrospective reports on progress be submitted to Corporate Performance and Scrutiny Board and reported to Executive Board, including financial implications over time.

Police and Crime Commissioner decision: Approved

Signature: signature
Date: 17 June 2015
Title: Police and Crime Commissioner

Part 1 – Unrestricted facts and advice to the PCC

  1. Introduction and background

The purpose of the Estates Strategy is to ensure that the estate is of a size and type to meet operational requirements, is utilised effectively, is cost effective and is managed and maintained as a corporate asset whilst meeting statutory requirements.

This in turn ensures our people have the accommodation they need, that teams are not ‘over accommodated’ and supports estates rationalisation, thus supporting a sustainable NYP.

Co-location with other public sector bodies supports the organisational work stream around Partnerships and Collaboration and the joining up of public sector organisations to secure savings/efficiencies through collaboration. This in turn supports the government’s drive towards better managed public sector assets. Co-location means that property space utilisation is maximised and therefore the estate rationalised and the resulting savings invested in delivering front line services.

An analysis of the current estate, in the context of broader changes, shows that – taken as a whole – the estate profile no longer aligns with the force’s requirements, and a new approach is necessary.

The new strategy takes into account the need to:

  • Enhance opportunities for the public to engage with the police in places and at times that suit them by developing and exploiting emerging digital technology. We will offer alternative ways of the Police contacting the public and of the public accessing services.  This will include alternatives to face to face and telephone contact for reporting incidents, obtaining updates, accessing information and accessing the criminal justice system.
  • Develop these alternative opportunities with partners across different sectors as well as within North Yorkshire Police.
  • Focus financial resources on frontline and local police officers, rather than on built assets
  • Consolidate key operational locations
  • Ensure that the capacity of the Force Control Room is maintained in line with demand.
  • Provide appropriate cost-effective bases in strategic locations that enable effective deployment across the policing area
  • Ensure there are dedicated custody facilities in place in line with demand
  • Support good communication and collaborative working through greater provision of open office accommodation, as opposed to separate sites and buildings.
  • Support staff well being.
  • Reflect changing working patterns, including where appropriate mobile and agile working.
  • Facilitate partnership working with other public sector organisations
  • Reduce maintenance and running costs

2. Matters for consideration

The timing of the implementation strategy is aligned to other developments and will be delivered in four phases (detailed in Appendix A):

  1. Phase 1: April 2015 – March 2017

As well as the new proposals detailed in Appendix A, this phase will include key estate projects already approved:

  • Re-provision for Newby Wiske HQ.
  • Disposal of land and cottage at Solberge
  • Disposal of Ripon Police Station, with teams relocated within Ripon
  1. Phase 2: April 2017 – March 2018
  2. Phase 3: April 2018 – March 2019
  3. Phase 4: April 2020 – March 2022

3. Other options considered, if any

The Estate Strategy has been designed following consultation with Commanders and Heads of Departments within NYP but has also taken cognisance of other public sector estate programmes.

4. Contribution to Police and Crime Plan outcomes

The recommendations in this Decision Notice are offered on the basis that they will fully support the Police and Crime Plan priorities, in that they will allow the organisation to configure its resources more effectively, in alignment with those priorities.

5. Consultations carried out

The content of this paper has been informed by:

  • DCC Madgwick – Chief Officer Lead
  • Jane Palmer – Chief Constables CFO
  • Richard Flint – Head of Estates, Logistics & Technology
  • Sudeep Chatterjee – ICT Manager
  • Jonathan Garrett – Estates Manager
  • T/Ch Supt Lisa Winward – OPM & Evolve
  • Supt Phil Cain – Operational Estates Lead
  • Senior Operational Command Team under Ch Supt Mason

The leadership of North Yorkshire Police are fully committed to achieving the Strategy as proposed.  The detailed implementation plans, and the oversight and scrutiny by both the Estates and IT Strategy Board and the Joint Corporate Risk Group will seek to mitigate the identified risks.

This Strategy is part of an integrated plan of activity for which the financial implications are being overseen by the Affordability Group.

6. Financial Implications/Value for money

Police and Crime Commissioner’s Chief Finance Officer comments:

While a significant amount of time and effort has been invested in the development of the Estates Strategy, and the plans that sit behind this, it is, as you would expect at this stage, a Strategy and a Plan. These Plans will be subject to consultation, discussion and development as time progresses and as such the finances that underpin the work are likely to change significantly.

While the plans that underpin the re-provision of Newby Wiske, the disposals of Solberge, Ripon Police Station and a number of Police Houses are well developed and the costs and savings known to a greater degree of certainty, this is not the case, at this stage, for the vast majority of the plans.

Beyond where there is a specific plan in place, the finances currently assume that any future disposals will be sold for the current valuation of each property. Where there is an operational need to replace buildings then the assumption is that the capital cost of these replacement will be on average half as much as the disposal proceeds (across all the phases).

The current financial modelling also assumes that where buildings are re-provided that (across all the phases) it will cost on average 40% of the current running costs to operate these new buildings.

These are ambitious targets and to achieve them the organisation will need to be disciplined in the allocation of space, will need to embrace and successfully implement agile working and further embrace both partnership and collaborative working.

6.1 Capital costs

At mentioned above, given the early stage of this work, disposal proceeds and re-provisioning costs are not known in detail. The high level estimates however suggest that total costs (including project management costs and costs for digital technologies) will be of the order of £17.6m, and will exceed disposal proceeds (estimated to be £12.4m) by around £5m across all four phases (including re-provisioning of Newby Wiske as per the DN to be considered at EB on 26 May 2015). The approval to increase the ability of the PCC to borrow the £5m forecast to be needed to deliver this programme is included within the DN for Newby Wiske.

6.2 Revenue implications

As mentioned above, the current financial model assumes that where buildings are re-provided it will cost 40% of the current running costs, including on-going capital maintenance, to operate these new buildings.

If this reduction in running costs can be delivered and all of the buildings that are proposed to be disposed, are disposed of in line with the current time frames, then the overall savings are forecast to be:

2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
£0.98m £1.25m £1.58m

These figures do not include any borrowing cost implications.

As mentioned in the Newby Wiske Decision Notice the timings of purchasing, fit-out and transitioning from one building to another will mean that additional running costs around the estate during both 2015/16 and 2016/17 will be incurred. This may extend further if the timeframes set out within the Estate Strategy are not delivered to.

While this is a very ambitious plan that has a number of high level risks, some very broad estimates and a number of significant assumptions there is little doubt that if implemented fully that it will save the public of North Yorkshire money. How much it will save, and how quickly it will save money, will be dependent on the appetite of the organisation and the public to accept the level of change proposed, the availability of resources to deliver the plan, the market to sell the properties promptly and the availability of alternative suitable accommodation.

If however the Strategy and Plan can be delivered the PCC’s CFO believes this will provide excellent Value for Money and will aid significantly in delivering savings towards the financial challenges that the organisation has.

7. Legal Implications

Having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, the Acting Force Solicitor and Head of Legal Services is satisfied that this report does not ask the PCC for North Yorkshire to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law.

Legal provision for the necessary conveyancing for freehold acquisitions and disposals, leases and licences will be dealt with as business as usual as the Phases proceed.

8. Equality Implications

These to be assessed within implementation/building design plans and the consultation process involved.

9. Human Resources Implications

The Estates Strategy provides a real opportunity to enhance the well being of our workforce through the design of modern workspaces and the development of work styles and practices,  that promote mobile and agile working.  It is noted that the developing plans and activities surrounding this strategy will be delivered through a phased approach.  It is therefore imperative that the engagement of both the workforce and their representatives is maintained throughout the planning process and that timely consultation takes place if and when required pre implementation at each of the phases. It is understood that a Communications Strategy and supporting plan will be developed which will ensure this takes place in a structured manner.

Public Access to information

The Police and Crime Commissioner wishes to be as open and transparent as possible about the decisions he/she takes or are taken in his/her name. All decisions taken by the Commissioner will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

As a general principle, the Commissioner expects to be able to publish all decisions taken and all matters taken into account and all advice received when reaching the decision. Part 1 of this Notice will detail all information which the Commissioner will disclose into the public domain. The decision and information in Part 1 will be made available on the NYPCC web site within 2 working days of approval.

Only where material is properly classified as restricted under the GPMS or if that material falls within the description at 2(2) of The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011 will the Commissioner not disclose decisions and/or information provided to enable that decision to be made. In these instances, Part 2 of the Form will be used to detail those matters considered to be restricted.  Information in Part 2 will not be published.

Part 2

Is there a Part 2 to this Notice – yes

If Yes, what is the reason for restriction – Commercially sensitive and subject to consultation

Originating Officer Declaration

Author name: Supt 199 Phil Cain

  Name      (Collar Number) Date of completion (√)
Head of DepartmentHas reviewed the request and is satisfied that it is correct and consistent with the NYPCC’s plans and priorities. Joanna Carter(Chief Executive Officer)


Legal AdviceLegal advice has been sought on this proposal and is considered not to expose the PCC to risk of legal challenge or such risk is outlined in Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice. Jane WintermeyerT/Force Solicitor and Head of Legal Services 3840 08.06.15
Financial AdviceThe PCC CFO has been consulted on this proposal, for which budgetary provision already exists or is to be made in accordance with Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice. Michael Porter(Commissioner’s CFO)



Equalities AdviceEither there is considered to be minimal impact or the impact is outlined in Part1 or Part2 of this Notice.  Author to complete as Equalities matters are mainstreamed within departments. Richard Flint(Head of Logistics ,Estates & Technology)


HR AdviceHR advice has been sought in relation to any people related matters


Rosemarie HolmesHead of HR and Training




I confirm that all the above advice has been sought and received and I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted for a decision 

Signature    P.M.Cain                       Date 05.05.15


Part 2 – Information supplied to the OPCC considered to be restricted

 Appendix A – Operational Estates – Initial considerations for phased implementation of the Estate Strategy

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