Drop in rental from properties on the common good account

BRECHIN has had the largest decrease in open market rentals of any burgh in Angus in relation to Common Good assets, according to figures which will go before members of Angus Council’s Corporate Services committee on Thursday (tomorrow).

Figures released by the local authority reveal that the value of open market rentals decreased by £17,555 from £51,368 to £33,813.

In his report to committee, director of corporate services, Colin McMahon, also reveals that a further report and audit on Brechin’s Common Good Fund will go before elected members later this year.

Mr McMahon explained: “The Angus Council meeting of March 25, 2004 approved the rent reviews of Common Good properties occupied by Angus Council departments with effect from April 1, 2001.

“The rents are reviewed every five years on commercial terms in an upwardly direction only or no change applied, with the last review being carried out in April 2006.

“The leases of Common Good properties to parties other than Angus Council are reviewed in accordance with the lease terms and conditions for each property.

“The next review of Common Good properties occupied by Angus Council is due to take effect from 1 April this year.

“The head of property instructed the council’s retained Estate Agents, Messrs J & E Shepherd, to review the rents to open market levels and to take account of increases in areas of sites due to the Ordnance Survey Positional Accuracy Improvement project where appropriate.

“This project updated the accuracy of Ordnance Survey plans which has resulted in some considerable changes to boundaries and areas of sites.

“Elected members will be aware that an audit of Common Good assets is underway, with each burgh being looked at in alphabetical order commencing with Arbroath, then Brechin and so on.

“The outcomes of the audit may result in a reclassification of assets between the common good and the general fund (and vice versa). However, none of the reviews are as yet fully complete and accordingly no cognisance of the review outcomes has been incorporated in this report.

“A specific Brechin Common Good Fund report will follow later this year and thereafter each burgh will be separately reported to committee as and when the review of each individual burgh is complete.

“In addition the Brechin Common Good fund’s income budget will be reduced by £17,555 to reflect the net impact of the rental review process and that parts of Brechin Municipal buildings are no longer being leased to council departments or Scottish Courts respectively. Going forward the Brechin Municipal building will form part of the ongoing Corporate Asset Management Group review of Angus Council properties.”