Tunbridge Wells Borough Council - Corporate Property Manager

Corporate Property Manager Candidate Pack


Introduction The Borough of Tunbridge Wells The Portfolio Asset Management Plan Job Description Person Specification Benefits

Equality and Diversity Application Process

Dear Applicant,

Thank you for taking the time to find out more about the appointment of Corporate Property Manager with Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. Tunbridge Wells Borough Council seek to provide public services to the population of 118,000 people within the District. Operating across a rich landscape of attractive, historic towns and plentiful countryside, the Council has ambitious plans to continue to invest in vital services as well as further develop the area as a heritage and cultural hub. The Corporate Property Manager is responsible for leading on all aspects of the Council’s property assets - providing high level strategic and innovative advice to ensure effective running of the portfolio whilst creating maximum return on investment. The Council’s portfolio is valued in excess of £100m comprising investment, operational and community assets, with a number of additional, high profile developments underway. Reporting to the Head of Economic Development and Property, the Corporate Property Manager will lead the function towards a more innovative approach, ensuring that the Council’s property strategy is aligned with that of key partners (public and private sector), to deliver increased value for money from the use of assets and to develop innovative property solutions for the Council. This appointment offers the opportunity to take ownership and be directly responsible for leading the continued evolution of the Council’s estate portfolio, leaving a lasting impact on the Borough.

The borough of Tunbridge Wells The population of Tunbridge Wells borough has grown by more than the national average, and this trend is set to continue with predicted population growth from 116,100 in 2014 to 122,700 by 2022. We’re also seeing interest in the borough as a place for businesses, retailers and restaurants to set up. Our predicted employment growth is 8.3 per cent by 2024, which is greater than the South East average. Our economy is also dependent on the availability of a highly educated workforce. We have a higher proportion of jobs in the knowledge economy at 32.9 per cent compared with the average across Kent at 16.8 per cent.

We are home to a number of attractive towns and villages with a rich natural history, a pleasant built environment and thriving rural businesses. Approximately 70 per cent of the land is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty. Part of the success of Royal Tunbridge Wells is its pleasant setting and easy access to high quality countryside. Our historic towns and villages act as important service centres and are a vital part of the tourism economy. Larger towns such as Cranbrook, Paddock Wood, and Southborough are essential focal points for the local economy and access to services. Over many years we have worked with parish and town councils in our area to enhance these features and deliver improved services.

Royal Tunbridge Wells is rooted in culture, leisure and the arts. It’s what first made it a spa-town destination over 400 years ago. Today, the town continues to be a prominent destination, with cultural, leisure and arts opportunities complemented by our beautiful parks and open spaces, our spa town heritage and a wide range of sports and activity clubs on offer. This is a significant benefit to the local economy and for residents across the area. More people enjoy cultural and arts activities in our area than the average across England. We can capitalise on this, but to do so we need to invest in our facilities. Our residents value activities for promoting health and wellbeing, but we need to invest in our sports and recreation provision to encourage greater participation.

The tourism that comes with being a destination town is an important part of our economy, estimated at £261m in 2016. We will continue to support the industry, encouraging the growth in visitor accommodation, and promoting an all year round offer of attractions that visitors can enjoy.

The Borough Council Public services are facing unprecedented funding pressures. We are providing for an increasing population, who are growing older, and have higher expectations. While all councils are facing these challenges, we face particular difficulties. The grant that we receive from central Government will disappear by 2018/19. We need to become self-sufficient – a challenge when operating in a high-cost area. In the future, we will need to compete for central Government funding linked to economic and housing growth, but because of our challenges we can’t compete on an equal footing with other areas. So we need to find ways to be self sufficient, and look at a range of options for how we do things.

Our Borough Supporting activities in the borough that encourage prosperity, wellness and inclusivity willmake it a more attractive place for businesses to invest and for sustainable growth to take place. To support a prosperous borough To support a well borough To support an inclusive borough Our Services The Borough Council also needs to operate in a sustainable way, delivering services that enhance the quality of life for our residents and customers. Focusing on providing digital choice and support, good quality services, and services that respond to need will help to achieve this.

Our People Alongside operating as a sustainable business,councillors and staff need to be equipped to leadand manage the services of the future. This willneed effective leadership, relevant skills and high levels of wellbeing. To have effective leadership To have relevant skills To have high levels of wellbeing Providing Value To get the best value out of the public purse,the Borough Council needs to innovate to find different ways to deliver the same or better services for less money. This includes working in partnership to deliver more for less, and acting in a business-like way to secure efficiencies. To ensure innovation in our services To ensure effective partnership working To ensure we operate in a business-like way

To provide digital choice To provide quality services To provide responsive services

Our Corporate Priorities are the things the Council believes are the most important to deliver over the next five years, to ensure we achieve the vision. “To encourage investment and sustainable growth, and to enhance quality of life for all”

The Portfolio

Valued at over £106 million in March 2019, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council’s portfolio generates an annual rental income of £1.79 million and has an annual maintenance budget of just over £950,000. The portfolio comprises a full range of property uses including commercial, residential, light industrial and retail properties, woodland and community land, and footpaths and pieces of ancillary land. The portfolio houses both operational and investment assets including both leasehold and freehold titles. At present the portfolio includes 67 commercial investments, 157 operational assets, 280 non-operational and key 2 assets under development. Example projects include: • Amelia Scott Development (image below) – As part of the partnership with KCC, the Council has acquired the former Museum and Library building and former Adult Education buildings as part of the high profile Amelia Scott cultural hub development. • Royal Victoria Place – shopping centre development leased to British Land. The Council continue to work with British Land to maximise the capital and revenue value of this asset. • Holly Farm –£2.56m disposal with a further payment of £1.38m due in Q2 2020. In addition negotiated a further capital receipt from the disposal of surplus land assets in the sum of £309,000 during 2018/19.

Asset Management Plan

As the Council’s lead property advisor, the Corporate Property Manager is responsible for the organisation’s annual property strategy, ensuring that recommendations are in line with the wider 5 year corporate plan. The Asset Management Plan defines how the Council manages, maintains, acquires and disposes of the Council’s assets. Included within the current strategy, aims and objectives are to: • Manage the asset portfolio in accordance with the Council’s Corporate Priorities and the Five Year Plan; Medium Term Financial Strategy; and the Cultural Strategy; • Raise awareness of property as a valuable and workable asset contributing to the Council’s revenue and capital receipts • Manage the asset portfolio to deliver the needs of the Council’s services • Maximise asset value and asset use through strategic maintenance and operational planning • Manage the asset portfolio flexibly to ensure optimum financial performance and service delivery to demonstrate continuous service improvement, to deliver the Five Year Plan and to support the Capital Programme. The strategy supports the Council in the delivery of its corporate priorities through ensuring that the portfolio is dynamically managed with focus directed towards priority areas of urgent major repair to relevant assets, investment, disposal of surplus assets, repurposing, redeveloping and refurbishing of existing assets with potential. With the wider impact of Covid19 starting to become apparent you have the ideal opportunity to influence and shape the Property Portfolio to enable Council services to meet this challenge.

Job Description

Post Title Service

Corporate Property Manager

Property & Estates



Responsible to

Head of Economic Development Property

Main Activities

• To manage and direct the Property and Estates Service, being responsible for strategic

• To act as the Council’s principal advisor on all matters of property management, development and asset strategy, ensuring an awareness of property as a strategic resource. • To lead the function towards a more innovative approach, ensuring that the Council’s property strategy is aligned with that of key partners (public and private sector), to deliver increased value for money from the use of assets and to develop innovative strategic property solutions for the Council. office accommodation, strategic plans and policy (the Property Asset Management Plan). Ensuring office accommodation is reviewed to meet organisation and service needs. • To lead the development of Council-wide property and

property solutions and commercial property development advice.

• Ensure Property Services remains customer focused whilst being commercially astute. • Ensure that the Property Strategy and maintenance programmes support the Council’s commitment to sustainability.

Job Summary To provide high level strategic and innovative advice in relation to both the development and management of Council property assets, fulfilling the key role of corporate property asset manager for the Authority.

• Ensure an appropriate maintenance programme based on condition. • Ensure that the performance of the asset portfolio is reviewed at least annually and that the shape of its structure, and the contribution of its component assets are challenged and that disposal and acquisition strategies are identified and recommended to Management Board. • The role will also act on behalf of TWBC in discussions with Tunbridge Wells Property Holdings Limited.

• To ensure resources are focussed on delivering the Corporate priorities, measurable targets are set and property performance monitored including value for money. • Demonstrate a commitment to the Council Equalities Policy, in carrying out your duties and in representing the Council. • To be aware of and exercise personal and corporate responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act and other related matters.

Person Specification





Significant experience of providing commercial property development advice and working with

Experience of proactive partnership working with a diverse range of organisations. Experience and comprehensive understanding of town centre focussed regeneration. Experience of working in a political environment

national and international developers.

Experience of developing and delivering property management strategies. Strong experience of providing property development advice either in the public or private sector. Experience of performance management, people management and budgets. Educated to degree level. Corporate membership of the Royal Institution

Qualifications/ Training

Formal Management Qualification

of Chartered Surveyors or equivalent.


An understanding of the legislation relat- ing to local authority property holdings and disposals.




Practical & Intellectual Skills

Highly developed interpersonal skills.

Highly developed written and verbal communication skills; able to produce reports and recommendations for senior management and Elected Members. Excellent political awareness and able to positively influence, negotiate and represent the council at a senior level. Able to think strategically and demonstrate personal and profession- al credibility.

Strong leadership skills.

Able to manage conflicting priorities.

Excellent IT skills and confident in using Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook).

Disposition/ Attitude

Self-motivated with the ability to lead and manage a diverse team.

Team player

Proactive approach to service delivery.

Has an enthusiasm to drive change.

Demonstrable commitment to the Councils Equal Opportunities Policies.

Special Requirements

Willing and able to attend evening meetings as required. Full and valid UK Driving Licence and access to own vehicle.


• The opportunity to influence your own annual salary increase based on your contribution to the role and organisation. • Membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme, which includes life assurance for you and your family, 13.7% employer contribution and the option to take early retirement from the age of 55. • Generous annual leave entitlement of 32 days (rising to 35 days after 5 years’ service). This is also supplemented with public holidays and other leave provisions. • An employee discount scheme, which hosts a number of attractive deals including cash back and discounts at high-street retailers and access to top UK attractions at low prices.

• Rail season ticket as well as car loans.

Development As an employer we recognise the value of our people and care about helping our staff develop. Staff are encouraged to take up opportunities for continued professional development through regular one to one reviews and a personalised development plan. Wellbeing Staff wellbeing is important to us at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council in ensuring a healthy work-life balance for all. Each year our Healthy Lifestyles team arrange a healthy living week to encourage staff to get active and keep fit. However we don’t just stop there, we also offer a number of benefits throughout the year to help our staff to stay well.

Equality and Diversity

We want people to have the opportunity to reach their potential and access services that meet their needs. We will enable this through our roles as a community leader, service provider and employer. Under the Equality Act (2010) we are required to prepare and publish one or more objectives. Our equality objectives for 2016-2020 are: 1. As a community leader, we will advance equality of opportunity by mitigating the potential impacts of welfare reform on 16-24 year olds who require our housing services. 2. As a service provider, we will advance equality of opportunity by investigating whether we can increase the number of people who are able to easily access the information they need, and satisfactorily complete the transactions they require, on the Council’s website. 3. As a community leader and a service provider, we will foster good relations and advance equality of opportunity by increasing participation in our heritage, arts and culture programme for people with disabilities, younger and older age groups, ethnic groups, religious groups and lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people. 4. As an employer, we will advance equality of opportunity by encouraging a broader range of people to apply for Council vacancies.

Application Process

Tunbridge Wells Borough Council are being supported on this recruitment campaign by the search consultancy The Management Recruitment Group (MRG). To arrange a confidential briefing conversation please contact our advisor Stephanie Howe of MRG stephanie.howe@mrgpeople.co.uk 0203 962 9900 Applications should consist of a comprehensive CV (of not more than 4 pages) and a covering letter (of not more than 2 pages). Closing date for applications is midnight on: 12th July 2020. MRG screening interviews to take place week commencing: 13th July 2020 Tunbridge Wells Borough Council interviews to take place week

commencing: 27th July 2020

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