Capital Strategy 2022/23

1            Introduction

1.1        The CIPFA 2017 Prudential and Treasury Management Codes require all local authorities to prepare a capital strategy report which will provide the following:


·         A high level long term overview of how capital expenditure, capital financing and treasury management activity contribute to the provision of services.

·         An overview of how associated risk is managed

·         The implications for future sustainability

2            Capital Expenditure and Financing

2.1        Capital expenditure is where the Council spends money on assets, e.g. property/ vehicles that will be used for more than one year. In Local Government this includes spending on assets owned by other bodies and loans and grants to other bodies, enabling them to buy assets. The Council has some limited discretion on what counts as capital expenditure, e.g. assets costing below £10,000 are not capitalised and are charged to revenue in the year.


2.2        As at the end of January 2022, the Council has incurred capital expenditure of £2.43 million and will incur further capital expenditure by the end of March 2022. The Council’s capital expenditure is summarised below:

Capital expenditure
























Ivybridge Regeneration

(see 2.6)












*£54,657 was spent on the Ivybridge Regeneration project in 2020/21 on    feasibility work, which was revenue expenditure.


Housing projects

2.3        Full Council approved the recommendations made on 25th November 2021 relating to the St Anns Chapel Housing Project.  £4.2million was approved to deliver 8 affordable homes, 3 open market units and 2 serviced plots. It has been agreed that the scheme will be funded as follows:


·         Long-term funding of up to £2.2m from a combination of internal and external borrowing (from the Public Works Loan Board);

·         Funding of up to £250,000 from the Affordable Housing Earmarked Reserve (in addition to the £100,000 approved previously);

·         £1.4m from the disposal of the 3 Open Market Units;

·         Homes England grant of not less than £110,000; and

·         £162,000 from Section 106 contributions (previously approved)


            Delivery is expected to commence in spring 2022 with completion anticipated      for late 2023. Members of the Assets team have met on site with the             developer to discuss the             initial steps of entering into development. This will       take the next couple of months and consists of contractual work, pre   planning considerations, landowner and initial            access and site set up.

Commercial Investment

2.4        In December 2019, the Council revised its Commercial Investment Strategy (originally approved in September 2018), which included multiple objectives: (a) to support regeneration and the economic activity of the Council (b) to enhance economic benefit (c) to grow business rate income (d) to assist with the financial sustainability of the Council as an ancillary benefit and (e) to help continue deliver and/or improve frontline services in keeping with its adopted strategy and objectives. This was approved by Council on 19th December 2019 (Minute C53/19).


2.5        The Executive are considering an updated Regeneration and Investment Strategy at their meeting on 3rd March 2022. This will be further considered by Council on 31st March 2022. The updated strategy reflects the new guidance from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) on PWLB borrowing. The rules for PWLB investment have changed. The following criteria are the only criteria in which the Council can use PWLB funding as supported by this strategy. The four categories are housing, regeneration, service delivery or refinancing of existing debt.


Ivybridge Regeneration Project

2.6        In February 2021, the Council approved external borrowing of £9m from the Public Works Loan Board for capital expenditure in respect of the Ivybridge Regeneration Project. This is subject to, but not limited to the regulatory statutory planning process and the total scheme cost being within the £9m financial envelope. The project is expected to enhance Ivybridge town centre as a retail and social destination for the growing community and wider catchment area. The project aims not only to provide an anchor retail unit but to improve the town centre parking provision, town centre access, wheeled sports facility and the public realm. This multi benefit approach aligns with our adopted investment strategy of inward investment in the district.

Leisure Investment

2.7        The Council has already invested £6.3m in Leisure Services. The leisure contract sets out for the Council to be reimbursed by the leisure contractor for the borrowing of the Leisure Investment and the income has already been factored into the Medium Term Financial Strategy. Following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the leisure industry from March 2020 onwards, the management fee income due has been deferred and will start to be received for the 2021-22 financial year onwards in an agreed payment schedule. Executive are considering a report on 3rd March 2022 on the contract variation and changes to the management fee profile. This will be further considered by Council on 31st March 2022.


2.8        In September 2019, Council approved an overall Borrowing Limit (for all Council Services) of £75 million.


2.9        On 26 November 2020, the Public Works Loans Board reduced interest rates by 1% for all new loans arranged from 26 November 2020. Local Authorities are required to submit a summary of their planned capital spending and PWLB borrowing for the following three years. This is updated on at least an annual basis. PWLB borrowing is permitted in the future for the four categories of regeneration, service delivery, housing and refinancing.


2.10    The Head of Finance Practice invites bids for capital funding from all service       managers annually on the strict proviso that all bids must go towards meeting             a strategic priority. All capital bids are ranked against a prescribed priority     criteria which is set out in the bid process. Submitted capital bids are assessed against the categories in each priority. Priority 1 categories include           meeting strategic priorities and statutory obligations (e.g. Health and Safety,             Disability Discrimination Act etc.) and other capital works required to ensure         the existing Council property assets remain open. Priority 2 categories link to     good asset management whereby the capital work proposed would either           generate capital/revenue income or reduce revenue spending. A capital bid   that will enable rationalised service delivery or improvement is also     considered a Priority 2 category to meet the Council’s aims and objectives.            The final capital programme is then presented to Executive and to Council in            February each year.

2.11    All capital expenditure must be financed, either from external sources        (government grants and other contributions), the Council’s own resources           (revenue, reserves and capital receipts) or debt (borrowing, leasing and            Private Finance Initiative). The planned financing of the above capital             expenditure is as follows:

Financing of capital expenditure











Capital Expenditure






Financed by:


External sources (Capital grants, NHB, S106)






Own resources (Capital receipts, Earmarked reserves)






Net financing need for the year (This is the prudential borrowing required)







2.12    Debt is only a temporary source of finance, since loans must be repaid, and this is therefore replaced over time by other financing, usually from revenue which is known as Minimum Revenue Provision (MRP). Alternatively, proceeds from   selling capital assets (known as capital receipts) may be used to replace debt      finance. Planned MRP and use of capital receipts are as follows:

Replacement of debt finance

















Use of capital receipts






*Capital receipts generated from the sale of houses (St Ann’s Chapel housing scheme)


3            Treasury Management

3.1        Treasury management is concerned with keeping sufficient but not excessive cash available to meet the Council’s spending needs, while managing the risks involved. Surplus cash is invested until required, while a shortage of cash will be met by borrowing, to avoid excessive credit balances or overdrafts in the bank current account.


3.2        The Council is typically more cash rich in the short-term as revenue income is received before it is spent, but cash poor in the long-term as capital expenditure is incurred before being financed. The revenue cash surpluses are offset against capital cash shortfalls to reduce overall borrowing.


3.3        As at 31 March 2021, the Council had external borrowing of £14.474 million.


3.4        As at 30 September 2021, the Council held £59.191m of Investments.

4            Borrowing Strategy

4.1       The Council’s main objectives when borrowing are to achieve a low but    certain cost of finance while retaining flexibility should plans change in future.

4.2       These objectives are often conflicting, and the Council therefore will seek to        strike a balance between cheap short-term loans and long-term fixed rate   loans where the future cost is known but higher.

4.3       Projected levels of the Council’s total outstanding debt which comprises   borrowing is shown below, compared with the capital financing requirement.












Debt at 31 March






Capital Financing Requirement






*In 2022-23 there is a potential for South Hams to borrow up to £5million for the  Plymouth and South Devon Freeport, subject to the final business case. This is still subject to Council approval on 31.3.2022 which has not yet happened at the time of writing this report and submission of the Final Business Case to the Government in April 2022. The SHDC investment would be paid back through business rates generated from the Langage and Sherford zones. It has been included in these figures so that the maximum borrowing position can be illustrated.


4.4       The Capital Financing Requirement is the measure of the Council’s          underlying need to borrow for the capital programme. This has been     projected to be £31.2 million for 2022/23. This includes borrowing for        leisure, an investment property in Dartmouth, waste, housing, Batson             Creek (Salcombe) commercial units, Batson Creek (Salcombe)        Harbour         Depot, Dartmouth Health and Wellbeing Hub, Ivybridge Regeneration        (see 2.6) and the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport (see 4.3).

5            Investment Strategy

5.1        Treasury investments arise from receiving cash before it is paid out again. Investments made for service reasons or for pure financial gain are not generally considered to be part of treasury management.


5.2        The Council’s policy on treasury investments is to prioritise security and liquidity over yield, i.e. to focus on minimising risk rather than maximising returns. Cash that is likely to be spent in the near term is invested securely, for example with the government, other local authorities or selected high-quality banks, to minimise the risk of loss.


5.3        Money that will be held for longer terms is invested more widely including in collective investment schemes (pooled funds whose underlying assets are company shares, bonds, property etc.). Examples of which are the CCLA Local Authorities’ Property Fund and the CCLA Diversified Income Fund in which the Council is invested to balance the risk of loss against the risk of receiving returns below inflation.


5.4        Both near-term and longer-term investments may be held in pooled funds, where an external fund manager makes decisions on which particular investments to buy and the Council may request its money back at short notice.


5.5        Further details on treasury investments can be found in the treasury management strategy (Appendix B).


5.6       Decisions on treasury management investment and borrowing are made daily     and are therefore delegated to the Corporate Director for Strategic Finance              (S151 Officer) and finance staff (where appropriate), who must act in line with   the treasury management strategy approved by Council.

5.7       Semi-annual reports on treasury management activity are presented to the           Audit Committee which is responsible for scrutinising treasury management       decisions.

6            Investments for Service Purposes

6.1        The Council has a £50,000 investment in the South West Mutual Bank which takes the form of shareholding in the bank, with the purpose of encouraging local economic growth. 


6.2        A report was approved by Members in February 2020 for the setting up of a Housing Company in the form of a Community Benefit Society (CBS). This has charitable status and would be capable of holding the affordable housing developed through housing projects, for example St Anns Chapel (see 2.3).


6.3       Decisions on service investments are made by the relevant service manager        in consultation with the Corporate Director for Strategic Finance (Section 151           Officer) and must meet pre-approved criteria and limits. Most loans and shares are capital expenditure and purchases will therefore also be approved         as part of the capital programme.

7            Investment Strategy

7.1        In December 2019 (Minute C53/19) the Council revised its Commercial Investment Strategy. This strategy covers both development on Council-owned land and property acquisitions and has multiple objectives:


•           to support regeneration and the economic activity of the District

•           to enhance economic benefit and create business rates growth

•           to assist with the financial sustainability of the Council as an ancillary benefit

•           to help continue deliver and/or improve frontline services in line with the Council’s adopted strategy and objectives.

•           security and liquidity


7.2        This Strategy will be achieved by acquisitions and developments within the South Hams District. This will include the focussed acquisition of existing assets and the development of new properties which are to be let to third parties.


7.3        Details of the Council’s investment strategy can be found in the report approved by Full Council on 19th December 2019 - minute Reference CM53/19.




7.4        The Executive are considering an updated Regeneration and Investment Strategy at their meeting on 3rd March 2022. This will be further considered by Council on 31st March 2022. The updated strategy reflects the new guidance from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) on PWLB borrowing. The rules for PWLB investment have changed. The following criteria are the only criteria in which the Council can use PWLB funding as supported by this strategy. The four categories are housing, regeneration, service delivery or refinancing of existing debt.



8            Risk Management and Due Diligence

8.1      The Council accepts there is a higher risk on property investments than with treasury investments. Financial risk will be weighed up against social and economic benefits of the investment. The principal risk exposures include variances resulting in a disruption or fall in income streams, fall in capital value which is either site-specific or due to general market conditions, deterioration in the credit quality of the tenant.

8.2      The Council assesses the risk of loss before entering into and whilst holding property investments/property opportunities by carrying out appropriate due diligence checks and implementing mitigation measures in managing risk:

·          The tenants need to be of good financial standing (this is assessed using Dun & Bradstreet credit rating reports and annual accounts). The number of tenants e.g. sole tenant or multi tenanted will be assessed.


·          The property condition such as date of construction and any imminent or significant refurbishment or modernisation requirements (forecast capital expenditure).


·          How the property investment, financial or non-specified investment meets the Council’s multiple objectives as set out in the Council’s strategy.


·          The lease must meet certain standards, such as being in a commercial popular location and have a number of years left on the lease providing a certain and contractually secure rental income stream into the future. Any break clauses will be assessed along with the number of unexpired years, bank guarantees and rent reviews.


·          The location will be within the South Hams District Council’s boundary as set out in the Investment Strategy. The population of the catchment area, the economic vibrancy and known or anticipated market demand as well as proximity to travel infrastructure and other similar properties will be assessed.


·          Rental income paid by the tenant must exceed the cost of repaying the borrowed money from the Public Works Loan Board (which is itself funded by the Government). The surplus is then an ancillary benefit which supports the Council’s budget position and enables the Council to continue to provide services for local people. 


·          Future borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board must meet one of the four permitted categories of borrowing of regeneration, service delivery, housing or re-financing of existing debt.


·          The gross and net yield are assessed against the Council’s criteria.


·          The prevailing interest rates for borrowing at the time.


·          Debt proportionality considerations.


·          The life and condition of the property is assessed by a valuer and the borrowing is taken out over the life of the asset. The amount of management and maintenance charges are assessed as well as the ease of in-house management. 10% of all rental income (or an amount as deemed prudent) is put into a Maintenance and Management Reserve to cover any longer-term maintenance issues.


·          The potential for property growth in terms of both revenue and capital growth will be assessed.


·          The risks are determined by the property sector e.g. office, retail, industrial, associated with specific properties and the mix of sectors within the Council’s portfolio.


·          Details of acquisition costs e.g. stamp duty land tax, legal costs


·          The documented exit strategy for a purchase/new build.


·          The legal and technical due diligence checks will also identify any specific problems such as anomalies in the title deed, restrictive use classes, indemnities, local competition, construction or refurbishment requirements.


·          The Council engages the use of external advisors to assist in undertaking elements of the due diligence checks such as technical, legal, accounting, property and taxation advice.


·          The Council undertakes sensitivity analysis of the interest repayments on its borrowing requirements as a percentage of its available reserves to ensure there is sufficient coverage in the event that rental income is below that forecasted. This ensures that the Council has the available reserves to enable service delivery to be maintained in the short to medium term, whilst alternative solutions are implemented.

8.3      Risk of loss shall be assessed on a case by case basis as part of the acquisition due diligence and will be a criteria considered throughout the approval process. Risk of loss during the management phase of the investment shall be reported in accordance with the criteria below. In accordance with Para 23-25 of Statutory Guidance on Local Government Investments, quantitative indicators or risk and portfolio performance will be reported to Audit Committee. The frequency of this reporting is anticipated to be every 6 months and will include the following indicators (as applicable):


·         Rental value by property

·         Rental value by tenant

·         Sector split by purchase price

·         Purchase price

·         Rental income profile

·         Tenant lease length

·         Gross Yield

·         Management, Maintenance and Risk Mitigation Reserve (MMRM)

·         Current value



8.4       Acquisitions must conform to the adopted Commercial Investment Strategy.          Any deviation from the agreed Strategy will require Council approval.

8.5       The Council’s Senior Leadership Team will initially consider each proposal as     an initial step and recommend that the proposal proceeds in principle.

8.6       When any decision to proceed with a development or acquisition is being             considered, local Ward Members will be consulted at the earliest opportunity      and be able to share their views with Executive Members and be consulted        before the final decision is made.

8.7       Executive Members, along with the Head of Paid Service and S151 officer,           will consider each and every proposal on its own merits and specifically how each proposal meets the Council’s multiple objectives and desired outcomes.

8.8       Executive Members will consider debt proportionality (the amount borrowed to     date against the net service expenditure ratio) on a case by case basis for          each acquisition as part of the decision making process, with information         provided to them as well as the S151 officer, the Head of Paid Service and       the Leader of the Council. Investment indicators are set out within the      Council’s Treasury Management Strategy.

8.9       The Council undertakes sensitivity analysis of the interest repayments on its        borrowing requirements as a percentage of its available reserves to ensure      there is sufficient coverage in the event that rental income is below forecast. The Council also sets aside 10% annually of all rental income into a             Maintenance, Management and Risk Mitigation (MMRM) Reserve. This is part of the Council’s contingency arrangements.

8.10    Officers, working with their specialist advisors in the market will sift             opportunities and only present to Executive Members, opportunities that            closely meet the Strategy. They will then lead the Executive Members into    debate over specific benefits and risks of each opportunity before the      Executive Members make a decision. In this way, risk will be transparent   through the process.

8.11    Projects and their outcomes will be kept under constant review by officers and     reported to Executive and Audit Committee.


Development on Council Owned Land

8.12    The Council will delegate the authority and decision making function relating      to ‘Development on Council Owned Land’ to the Executive, assuming that the         proposed expenditure complies with the Council approved total borrowing      limits. Ward Members will be consulted at the earliest opportunity.

8.13    This delegation is to include the granting of associated leases in excess of 16     years as and when required, as recommended by the Assets CoP Lead, on a           project by project basis.

8.14    Any project will be subject to Due Diligence and Legal Searches and         occasionally other data as need arises.

8.15    Specialists will be commissioned to act on behalf of the Council to source            suitable development and tenant opportunities and manage the due diligence        process.

8.16    Officers will provide Members of the Executive with a set of data and an    indicative cash flow for each project under investigation. These will aid          decision making on whether to proceed or not.

Investment Acquisitions within the South Hams

8.17    The Council will delegate the authority and decision making function relating      to ‘Investment Acquisitions in the South Hams’ to the Head of Paid Service and Section 151 Officer, in consultation with Members of the Executive,            assuming that the proposed expenditure complies with the Council approved        total borrowing limits.

8.18    In the event of three or more Executive Members expressing their opposition        to the proposal, then the matter will proceed no further.

8.19    Any project will be subject to Due Diligence and Legal Searches and         occasionally other data as need arises. In line with this strategy, a report will      be presented (for noting purposes) to the subsequent meeting of the     Executive.

           Debt Proportionality

8.20    The investment strategy considers the risks of investment and the Council            engaged Treasury Management advisors to analyse the level of debt   proportionality to the Council’s finances (e.g. levels of reserves, asset base      and level of interest costs as a percentage of income).

8.21    Investment Property acquisitions expand the Council’s balance sheet and            interest costs will form a higher percentage of locally derived income. It would        absorb some reserves if there are shortfalls in or disruption to the income         stream required to meet the additional expenditure.

8.22    Sensitivity analysis on the level of debt interest against the Council’s level of       reserves is considered as part of the Medium Term Financial Strategy and as   part of the budget proposals each year. This ensures that the Council has the         available reserves to enable service delivery to be maintained in the short to     medium term, whilst alternative solutions are implemented.

8.23    In order that property investments remain proportionate to the size of the    Council, borrowing for the Investment Strategy is subject to an overall limit (for         all Council services) of £60 million.

8.24    The Council set an upper limit on External Borrowing (for all Council services)    as part of the Medium Term Financial Strategy of £75 million. Interest   payments at 2% would equate to 9.8% of available reserves (Appendix G to       the Budget Proposals report for 2022/23 – Council 10th February 2022).


8.25    Compared with other investment types, property is relatively difficult to sell            and convert to cash at short notice and can take a considerable period to sell   in certain market conditions. To ensure that the invested funds can be accessed when they are needed, for example to repay capital borrowed, the   Council will spread its liquidity profile across its portfolio and also have a       spread of the sector in which the Council invests. The Council also documents    potential exit strategies as part of its due diligence checks.

8.26    Liquidity will be a factor in determining the amount of rent set aside in the             Maintenance Management and Risk Mitigation Reserve for each investment        which has a balance of £66,000 as at 31 March 2022. This will be reviewed      with the same frequency as the risk reporting procedure set out in the     Council’s Commercial Investment Strategy.

9            Asset Management

9.1        To ensure that capital assets continue to be of long-term use, the Council has an asset management strategy in place.


9.2        When a capital asset is no longer needed, it may be sold so that the proceeds, known as capital receipts, can be spent on new assets or to repay debt.

9.3        Repayments of capital grants, loans to third parties for capital expenditure and investments also generate capital receipts.







9.4        The Council estimates to receive £380,000 capital receipts in the coming financial year as follows:

Capital Receipts

2020/21 actual

2021/22 forecast

2022/23 budget

2023/24 budget

2024/25 budget

Asset sales






Loans repaid












*Capital receipts generated from the sale of the houses


10         Liabilities


10.1    Decisions on incurring new discretional liabilities are taken by Head of      Practice in consultation with the Corporate Director for Strategic Finance          (Section 151 Officer).

10.2    The risk of liabilities crystallising and requiring payment is monitored as part of    the budget monitoring and reported to the Executive quarterly.

11         Revenue Budget Implications

11.1     Although capital expenditure is not charged directly to the revenue budget, interest payable on loans and MRP are charged to revenue, offset by any investment income receivable. The net annual charge is known as financing costs; this is compared to the net revenue stream i.e. the amount funded from Council Tax, business rates and general government grants.


Proportion of financing costs to net revenue stream


2020/21 actual

2021/22 forecast

2022/23 budget

2023/24 budget

2024/25 budget

Financing costs






Proportion of net revenue stream







11.2     Further details on the revenue implications of capital expenditure are included in the Revenue Budget.


11.3    Due to the very long-term nature of capital expenditure and financing, the            revenue budget implications of expenditure incurred in the next few years will         extend for up to 50 years into the future.

11.4    The Corporate Director of Strategic Finance (S151 Officer) is satisfied that the      proposed capital programme is prudent, affordable and sustainable and it is   fully integrated with the Council’s 2022/23 Medium Term Financial Strategy,   Treasury Management Strategy and Investment Strategy and other strategic plans. The Capital Strategy is compiled in line with the requirements of the             2017 CIPFA Prudential Code and 2017 Treasury Management Code. The     risks associated with the Investment Strategy are covered within the Strategy.

11.5    The delivery of the individual capital schemes on the plan is directly linked to       the original approval of the capital project supported by each project having a    project lead who is responsible for the delivery of the project (appropriate           skills, contracting, planning etc.) and the subsequent achievement of the   objectives of that project.

11.6    Members, via the Executive meetings, receive quarterly budget monitoring            reports on the Council’s Capital Programme. Through these updates, which    are driven by the requirement of financial reporting, Members can review and            challenge the delivery of projects and any changes to both the timing and    expenditure of the capital project.

11.7    If subsequent to the capital project being completed there are variations to the      income expected to be generated from that asset, this will be reported as a variance in the quarterly budget monitoring reporting and if ongoing will be        included in the following year’s revenue budget proposals.

11.8    The Council’s Senior Leadership Team has oversight for the delivery of and        challenge to the Capital Strategy and Capital Programme.


11.9    Affordability is critical in applying the capital strategy and approving projects         for inclusion in the capital programme. This is either demonstrated by a report            on the project being presented to Executive/Council for approval supported by      a business case identifying the expenditure and funding, appraisal of    alternative options and the risks and rewards for the approval of the scheme,     or by delegated procedures set out within the commercial investment strategy          (containing this information).

11.10  All projects need to have a clear funding source. If external funding such as        an external grant is to be used, there needs to be a clear funding commitment.

11.11  Affordability of each project needs to be clear, not only for the funding of the        capital spend, but also to cover any ongoing costs of the operation and      funding of that capital spend.




11.12  Where borrowing is to be used the affordability is of greater importance and          the affordability has to include the interest costs of that borrowing and the       provision for the repayment of the borrowing (MRP). This repayment is             matched to a prudent asset life and any income streams estimated to fund    this asset must be sustainable.  The rules around the governance of this   borrowing are outlined in the Prudential Code (as summarised above).

11.13  At no stage should the asset value be lower than the value of outstanding            debt unless there is a clear plan to mitigate that shortfall or to sell that asset.


11.14  The risks associated with a significant Capital Programme and a significant          level of borrowing can be mitigated through all capital projects being            supported by a business case, having adequate project management and/or    project boards, suitable skills for the delivery of the project, tax planning, cash             flow, clear operational plan for the use of the asset, security and due diligence            on loans and purchases, use of external advice where appropriate, project             contingencies, full tender process and regular and transparent reporting to           Members.

11.15  There are clear links from the capital strategy to both the treasury     management strategy, prudential indicators, authorised borrowing limits and             the revenue budget. These are also subject to review and oversight by            Members at the Audit Committee and Council. For any new borrowing, and            this is a greater risk as the value of borrowing increases, this does increase         the Council’s overall liabilities that will need to be repaid in the future.

11.16  In addition, this increases the Council’s level of fixed interest and repayment       costs that it will incur each year. In 2022/23 the borrowing liability is estimated   at a maximum of £26m with ongoing financing costs of the borrowing of      approx. £1m. This is a clear risk that all Members need to be aware of.

11.17  However, this risk for assets is mitigated by a robust business case and a MRP that will repay the borrowing costs over a (prudent) asset life. Any      variations from this are set out in the MRP Policy (section 2.5 of the Treasury Management Strategy). Any variation in expected income is an issue,    however given the wide range of operational assets and different income streams this helps to mitigate this risk.

11.18  As outlined above in the position statement, investment properties have a             different type and level of risk. Risk arises from both variations in income      streams (tenant non-renewal etc.) and from asset values (impact economic    conditions and retail trends etc.). The Council has established a clear strategy, criteria and a governance route for these purchases which has             included member training, second opinion on asset values, due diligence, site    visits, surveys etc. The Council currently owns one investment property in           Dartmouth.

11.19  There are risks (and rewards) associated with the purchase of these type of          assets.

12         Knowledge and Skills

12.1     The Council employs professionally qualified and experienced staff in senior positions with responsibility for recommending capital expenditure, borrowing and investment decisions to Members.


12.2     The Director of Place & Enterprise is a Chartered Civic Engineer with 18 years of experience. In addition, the Director of Place & Enterprise holds a MSc in Construction Law.


12.3     The Corporate Director of Strategic Finance (S.151 Officer) is a Chartered Accountant (ICAEW) with 18 years of experience of being a S151 Officer (Chief Finance Officer). In addition, the Corporate Director for Strategic Finance holds a BSc in Mathematics and has previously worked in the private sector for accountancy firms.


12.4     The Estates Specialist is a Chartered Surveyor, qualified for over 15 years, with an Estate Surveying degree. In addition they are a Registered Valuer.


12.5     The Monitoring Officer is a qualified solicitor with over 20 years public sector experience as a Monitoring Officer.


12.6     Where Council staff do not have the knowledge and skills required, use is made of external advisers and consultants that are specialists in their field. The appropriate expertise is always resourced in relation to any financial, legal and asset related due diligence required. A list is below:-


·         Link Group – Treasury Management Advice

·         Savills – Property Agents

·         JLL – Property and Technical Consultants

·         CCD Properties Limited – Development Specialists

·         Arcadis – Building Surveyors and Engineers

·         Womble Bond Dickinson - Solicitors


12.7     This approach is more cost effective than employing such staff directly, and ensures that the Council has access to knowledge and skills commensurate with its risk appetite.


12.8     Following the District Elections in May 2019, a comprehensive Members’ Induction Programme was undertaken in May 2019. This included specific financial and treasury management training.




12.9     External treasury management training (by Link Group) for Members will be carried out every two years to ensure the up to date skills are in place to make capital and treasury management decisions. Training was last completed in March 2021 and will be due again in March 2023.