Council property valuations helps ease the purse strings

Overstretched councils looking to make ends meet are being advised to assess their property portfolios to help pay for vital services.

Overstretched councils looking to make ends meet are being advised to assess their property portfolios to help pay for vital services.

With the spectre of more cuts looming, local authorities will have to make all their assets work much harder in order to balance the books.

In addition, increasingly complex and technical crossover between traditional accountancy and valuation functions has caused some tension with audit scrutiny in satisfying the International Finance Reporting Standards (IFRS) requirements.

As a result more local authorities and councils are calling in the experts to assess their property portfolios to help make the most of their property assets but also manage the increasing level of red tape.

Philip Boothroyd from Bruton Knowles’s Northallerton office has already helped a number of councils understand the true value of their portfolios and is advising others to do the same.

Philip said:

The stark truth is that councils which are asset rich in property need to make the most of what they have got. With more cuts expected and the purse strings tightening, they need to act now.

We have been called in to establish the true value of portfolios in view of potential disposals or development opportunities. So if a particular function could be located in one place rather than two, then that releases an asset for potential rental, development or sale.

However in undertaking valuations, the local authority has to satisfy a number of regulatory bodies which makes the process increasingly complex. This includes RICS’ ‘Red Book’, the Chartered Institute of Public Finances and Accountancy and the IFRS.

The ‘2013/2014 Code’ also requires Authorities to undertake revaluations with ‘sufficient regularity’ to ensure that fair values do not differ ‘materially’ from year to year. This requires a ‘Sample’ to be undertaken annually and places a big burden on the overstretched resources of most, if not all authorities in the country.

Having undertaken numerous valuation projects across the country, Bruton Knowles’ reputation has now seen the team steal a march on rivals with an unrivalled network of experts across the country that is delivering on value and service.

Philip added:

Bruton Knowles have been advising public sector clients on major portfolios in areas such as Yorkshire, the North East and South West. Our growing reputation, resource and delivery of value to public bodies is now seen as an invaluable resource to not only satisfy the financial authority requirements but get to grips with the value of their assets.

It’s vital public bodies get their valuations right and the team can provide a full audit process and understand the demands being imposed upon them in order to satisfy all aspects of IFRS.

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