34 New Ways of Working Strategy (East Kent region) and Proposal to acquire a Freehold to become an East Kent Key Office Hub
To receive exempt information relating to Item B1
(1) Mr Cooke (Cabinet Member for Corporate and Democratic Services) introduced the reports relating to this item. The reports asked the Property Sub-Committee to consider and endorse or comment on his proposed decision. Mr Cooke said the intention of the New Ways of Working project was to create hubs in addition to the Strategic Headquarters in Maidstone. He said hubs had already been established in west and mid Kent and it was proposed to acquire a suitable property near Whitstable as a key office hub for east Kent.
(2) In response to questions, Mark Cheverton (Property Fund Manager) and Bob Appleby (New Ways of Working Programme Manager) outlined the current arrangements for office accommodation and gave further detailed information about the options considered for east Kent as outlined in the exempt report. It was also confirmed that: it would cost significantly more to build a new premises than to acquire an existing one; a surveyor’s report had been commissioned; due diligence was underway to ensure value for money and any risks were considered; any premises acquired would provide suitable and flexible accommodation without the need for additional adaptation or refurbishment.
(3) Resolved to endorse the Cabinet Member’s proposed decision to agree:
(a) To the continued implementation of the New Ways of Working Programme into the east Kent region;
(b) To the freehold purchase and inclusive refurbishment of a property located on the outskirts of the Whitstable area at the price stated in the recommendations of the exempt report;
(c) To note the additional costs of purchase, including agents’ fees and stamp duty, together with final fit-out works, as stated in the exempt report;
(d) That the Executive Scheme of Delegation for Officers set out in Appendix 2, Part 4 of the Constitution (and the directorate schemes of sub-delegation made there under) provides the governance pathway for the implementation of this decision by officers. In this instance, the Director of Property and Infrastructure Support on behalf of the Corporate Director of Strategic & Corporate Services) will take all such steps as are necessary to implement the decision.