Agenda item

Draft Revised Investing in Leicestershire Programme Portfolio Management Strategy 2024 - 28

A presentation by Hymans Robertson will be provided as part of this item.



The Commission considered a report of the Director of Corporate Resources which sought members views on the revised Investing in Leicestershire Programme Portfolio Management Strategy 2024-28 which set out the proposed approach to future asset management and investment.  A copy of the report marked ‘Agenda Item 12’ is filed with these minutes.


The Chairman welcomed Mr Phillip Pearson, of Hymans Robertson, to the meeting.  Mr Pearson provided a presentation on the external review of the Council’s property portfolio performance, and a copy of the slides is attached to these minutes.


Arising from discussion, the following points arose:


(i)               A member raised concern regarding the underperformance of the Council’s rural estate which despite good capital appreciation, showed a net income of -1.7%.  Mr Pearson commented that rural property had an important part to play in the Council’s portfolio.  Hymans Robertson had recommended maintaining the current allocation on the basis this was proportionate for Council’s portfolio and it aligned with the non financial aims of the Strategy.  However, it was important that every property in the portfolio contributed and where this was no longer the case, a plan would be put in place to address this, which might result in a disposal.

(ii)              The Lead Member for Resources highlighted that a lot of the Council’s rural estate fell within district council emerging local plans and had been allocated for projects such as the Melton Mowbray Distributor road. 

(iii)            In response to a question, the Director advised that the Snibston Café did not fall within the IILP Portfolio but formed part of the Council’s Country Parks estate.

(iv)            Carrying out repairs or refurbishments to properties could be costly.  Consideration would therefore be given to whether, once those works had been carried out, a property would likely generate an acceptable financial return or have an otherwise positive impact in line with the Strategy’s aims.  If this was not the case, the property might simply be sold.

(v)             Costs relating to the sale of a property or the costs to repair, maintain or refurbish, would be reflected in any business case put forward when considering whether to carry out works.  This ensured all options were properly costed and assessed before a decision was taken on the appropriate way forward.

(vi)            Selling a property placed significant demand on officer time.  The Council therefore operated a rolling programme of asset reviews to ensure the whole portfolio was reviewed and actions taken over a long term to spread the costs and resource demand.

(vii)          A Member challenged what social benefits were being delivered by the Programme given that most investments within it were of a commercial nature.  It was noted that the Council would not seek to compete with the private sector but looked to maximise the use of its existing assets to help generate economic growth (its development at Leaders Farm being an example), particularly where external funding was available (for example, Airfield Farm had benefited from European Development Funding).  In turn it was hoped that such economic investment would then bring about wider social benefits.

(viii)         The Programme was reaching its capital investment limit.  Consideration was therefore being given to increasing the focus on the existing estate, including some invest to save projects.  A key area of focus was, for example, the purchase of residential properties to support adult and children’s social care accommodation needs, although this fell under the Social Care Improvement Programme (SCIP).

(ix)            In response to questions raised the Director confirmed that the Programme consisted of a mix of treasury management and directly owned property investments, and a significant amount of the property included had been owned by the Council for a number of years before the Programme had been established.  These investments had been grouped together within the Programme to provide a balanced and diverse portfolio which helped to manage risk.

(x)             The Director confirmed that the Lutterworth East SDA would be a multiyear development and the Council had yet to decide how go move this forward given the delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent inflation and cost increases.  Options were currently being looked at and a proposal would be put forward over the next few months for members consideration.




(a)  That the presentation provided on behalf of Hymans Robertson regarding its external review of the Council’s Investing in Leicestershire Programme be noted and welcomed;

(b)  That the comments now made be submitted to the Cabinet for consideration at its meeting on 9th February 2024.


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