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23/2016: Co-location opportunity with North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Authority at their Easingwold training facility

Sharing training facilities with the Fire and Rescue Service

Executive Summary and Recommendation:

The Commissioner is asked to enter into an agreement with the Fire & Rescue Authority to share part of a building currently occupied by North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service. This would allow the North Yorkshire Police Driver Training Unit to move from Newby Wiske HQ (which is up for sale) to the Fire & Rescue Service training facility at Easingwold, as previously set out in Decision Notice 004/2015.

This provides an opportunity to co-locate with a key partner in an accessible and central location in an up to date building, supporting the close partnership between the two organisations and the current strategic direction of the police estate.  Using a shared location not only saves taxpayers’ money overall, but will facilitate future collaboration, ensuring that the two emergency services can work better together in the longer term.  The Easingwold location is also particularly good for the Driver Training Unit given its access to the North Yorkshire road network. 

A detailed breakdown of the co-location costs associated with this proposal is included in part 2 of this Decision Notice (some of this is restricted because the information is commercially sensitive).  However the total cost of the project is budgeted for a maximum spend as follows: £60,000 revenue per year and a maximum initial capital outlay of £265,000.

It is recommended that:

  • The Commissioner agrees to enter into a lease agreement with the Fire & Rescue Authority under a joint Heads of Terms agreement (to be developed and agreed), to allow the co-location of North Yorkshire Police’s Driver Training Unit with the Fire & Rescue Service at Easingwold;
  • This would be subject to appropriate consultation with staff and staff associations.

Decision

Police and Crime Commissioner decision: Approved

Signature: signature
Date: 14 November 2016
Title: Police and Crime Commissioner

1. Introduction and Background

In Decision Notice 004/2015 the Commissioner agreed to buy Alverton Court, Northallerton as the new HQ for North Yorkshire Police and dispose of the Newby Wiske site. This meant re-locating the Driver Training unit at a suitable new location. This paper provides the Executive Board with information and costs in respect of a proposal to co-locate the Driver Training Unit with the current Fire & Rescue training facility at Easingwold, which is occupied under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

The Fire & Rescue Authority have an additional building on a long term lease (not in the PFI arrangement, due to expire 20 February 2020), adjacent to their Training Facility at Easingwold that is not fully utilised or occupied. This provides an opportunity to co-locate with a key partner in an accessible and central location in an up to date building. This will also support the close partnership and collaboration working between the two organisations and the current strategic direction of the police estate.

The proposal is for the Commissioner to enter into a contractual agreement with the  Fire & Rescue Authority  to sub-lease the space at the new location, under a Heads of Terms agreement to be subsequently approved once drawn up by the legal teams.

The training facility is a Private Finance Initiative facility on an industrial estate in Easingwold. The Fire & Rescue Authority also lease the ground floor of a building adjacent to this facility (privately leased not under the PFI arrangement) and have offered some of this accommodation to NYP to locate the NYP Driver Training Unit (4x police officers & 5 police staff). The re-location would also need a suitable parking/storage area for the operational training vehicles and associated equipment together with some extra parking to accommodate up to 30 students per day (low cost eco bloc on grassed area) as there is no parking on site or in the near vicinity.  This will eliminate congestion and minimise the impact on surrounding businesses.  Any parking and storage provision would be subject to receiving approved planning permission and be located on the PFI area.

There would also be some set up costs e.g.: ICT connectivity and furniture etc. (detailed costs are shown in Part 2 of this decision notice, which are restricted because they are commercially sensitive).

The site is deemed to be suitable alternative accommodation for the NYP Driver Training Unit and is in a location that allows staff/students to travel to and from the facility from all areas of the force.

Following an approved Decision Notice the following issues need to be resolved/taken forward:

  • Detailed costs need to be fully worked through with the PFI agent.
  • Agreement with the owner of the building is needed as to the final design layout.
  • Planning permission needs to gained.
  • Heads of Terms need to be agreed with the Fire & Rescue Authority.

Benefits

  • This proposal would be in the interests of both organisations as the facility would provide a suitable driver training facility in a strategic location for NYP while helping the Fire & Rescue Authority maximise the use of their estate.
  • The proposal will provide NYP with a modern facility in an environment that has been designed in conjunction with the NYP Driver Training Unit and in a central area which in turn will provide a more efficient service.
  • The proposal demonstrates joint working with the Fire & Rescue Authority and may help further joint working and mutual benefits including working as “One Public Estate”

2. Other Options Considered

Alternative sites had been explored but suitable properties were either not available at the time of the search or the premises would not lend themselves to NYP’s requirements.  This option is considered to be beneficial to all parties and supports the ethos of one public sector estate.

3. Contribution to Police and Crime Plan Priorities

The recommendations in this Decision Notice are offered on the basis that they will fully support the Police and Crime Plan priorities as follows:

  • Transforming the Organisation – Improving Efficiency & Productivity
  • Partnerships & Commissioning – Valuable partnership working
  • Affordability – Business Planning

4. Implementation and Resourcing Implications

Timescale

It is envisaged that the final plans and agreement with the Fire & Rescue Authority could be completed by the end of December 2016 and the Driver Training Unit would be able to re-locate before the intended HQ re-location in autumn 2017.

Costs 

The facility will not cost NYP more than any other suitable facility for re-location of the Driver Training Unit. The budgeted costs for the project including a detailed breakdown of the co-location costs associated with this proposal is included in part 2 of this Decision Notice (some of which are restricted because the information is commercially sensitive) however the total cost of the project is budgeted for a maximum spend as follows: £60,000 revenue per year and an initial capital outlay of £265,000.

These costs will be subject to further scrutiny to ensure value for money before being finalised in the Heads of Terms agreement.

5. Consultations Carried Out

Name (Collar Number) Department Comments
Will Naylor Office of the PCC
Jane Palmer Financial Services
Lisa Winward Local Policing
Lisa Winward Beyond Local Policing
Rosie Holmes Human Resources Yes
Jane Wintermeyer Joint Corporate Legal Services
Louise Wood Corporate Communications
Jonathan Garrett Property and Facilities
Sudeep Chatterjee Information and Communications Technology
Bob Brigginshaw Transport
Jenni Newberry Joint Corporate Commissioning and Partnership Services
Nicola Johnson Procurement
Maria Earles Organisation and Development Yes
Sarah Wintringham Information Management Yes

6. Compliance Checks

Financial Implications/Value for money:

The initial lease of the building will run to 2020.  The lease of the PFI land also runs to 2020 – at this point the entire PFI will revert to the Fire & Rescue Authority.  This may seem to be a substantial investment for a relatively short lease, but the lease does have an option to renew.

A substantial part of the investment is in parking and storage for operational vehicles.  It may be possible to reduce the overall cost during the tender stage by a further review of the specification for this part of the investment.

The budget for this project will come out of the amounts earmarked as part of the budget for the HQ move from Newby Wiske to Alverton Court.  The capital investment required is broadly in line with the amounts in that DN.  However, the recurring revenue costs are higher than the amounts originally estimated.  These costs will be finalised as part of the agreement of Heads of Terms, but if they remain at the current level will impact on the revenue budget in future years.

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 Monitoring Officer is satisfied that this report does not ask the Commissioner to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law.

Human Resources Implications:          

The proposals within this DN are noted and,‎ in particular, the references made to the requirement to consult with staff associations, Unison and the training team members and their line management at the earliest opportunity. The views and contributions made during this process will facilitate the development of this accommodation to meet the needs of this specialist training delivery. Notice should also be taken of consequential re-location costs for a number of the team who will need to be relocated.

Public Access to information

As a general principle, the Commissioner expects to be able to publish all decisions taken and all matters taken into account when reaching the decision.  This Notice will detail all information which the Commissioner will disclose into the public domain.  The decision and information will be made available on the Commissioner’s website.

Only where material is properly classified as Restricted under the Government Protective Marking Scheme 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 will be used to detail those matters considered to be restricted.  Information in Part 2 will not be published.

All decisions taken by the Commissioner will be subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

Part two

Is there a Part 2 to this Notice – YES 

The  information included in Part 2 is commercially sensitive and therefore falls under section 2(2) of The Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011

Report Information

Author:  Richard Flint

Head of Department: Richard Flint, Head of Estates, Logistics and Technology

Executive Group Sponsor: Fraser Sampson, Acting Chief Executive Officer

Date created: 22.09.16

Background documents:

Appendix 1 – Proposed site map location

Appendix 2 – Building plan

I confirm that all the above advice has been sought and received against this and any associated Part 2 information and I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted for a decision

Signature:    Richard Flint                                                                                                  Date: 22.09.16


Appendix 1

23-2016-appendix-1

Appendix 2

23-2016-appendix-2

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