A public sector consultancy is conducting a review of local government property to help councils improve efficiency across their estates.

4ps, the local government project delivery company, has teamed up with Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands, which is funding the project, and Staffordshire County Council to set up the programme.

The cost of running council buildings, from offices to libraries, is the largest single cost local authorities face – around 8% of their total spend.

The new 4ps service will initially review property owned by Staffordshire County Council, Bromsgrove District Council, Redditch Borough Council, Tamworth Borough Council, Walsall Council and Coventry City Council to see how local authorities can make efficiency savings through better estates management.

Andrew Rowson, director of housing and property at 4ps, said: ‘Sometimes we find that parts of local authorities’ estates are no longer in the right location or are no longer fit for purpose. As local communities and services change, it is right to review property assets.

'We expect the results in West Midlands will enable other areas to benchmark their own performance in this area. 4ps stands ready to support local authorities across the country in this process.’

4ps hopes to roll out the programme nationally later this year. It is being supported by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the results of the first stage will be revealed in June.

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