Having previously worked in the public sector for Amey Consulting and Ferrovial, Laila joined Public Sector Plc in June 2018 as one of our Development Managers. She studied Real Estate at The University College of Estate Management, Reading and brings a wealth of experience to the role, having undertaken various roles across the housing and property industry over the years.
What does a typical day look like for a Development Manager at PSP?
Each day is different! I can be in our Birmingham office one day, out on a site visit the next and then meeting with a Council partner the following day. A chunk of my time is spent looking at sites, exploring their development potential, researching demand and values in a location for a particular property use and speaking to local agents. This will then feed into a development proposal which I present to our Council partners. Once a project has the go ahead, I will then spend my time liaising with architects, lawyers, valuers and various surveyors as we progress through the development stages.
What is your favourite part of the role?
This role and the company are all about relationships. PSP is built on establishing and developing relationships; it’s about building trust and delivering value as a partnership.
What I really enjoy is getting to work with so many different people. Not only do we have relationships with all our Council Partners across the region, but we also liaise with a whole variety of property professionals across sectors. Plus, I thoroughly enjoy working with our PSP colleagues up north and down in London.
Why do you feel established relationships are essential in the public sector?
Because they encourage a collaborative approach to driving value for the public sector. They also demonstrate the value that can be generated through our Relational Partnering way of working.
How would you say the unique Relational Partnering Model supports Councils?
We are like an extension of their team – and are there to help as and when they need us. What’s really nice is that we are all working together to achieve the same outcome and I truly believe it’s a much better way of working than traditional supplier-contractor relationships. In a partnership, it is all about mutual goals, transparency and, most importantly, trust.
Why do you feel it is important to utilise private sector expertise and translate this into the public sector?
The private sector can help the public sector to think and act more efficiently and commercially, enabling it to achieve more with limited resources. The private sector can also bring additional expertise, skills and funding. At PSP, we can be flexible and can help to speed things up so that better results are realised quicker.
What are some of the primary objectives and outcomes sought by your public sector partners?
Creating new revenue streams is key. Capital receipts can get swallowed up and disappear (and they also mean the loss of an asset), so developing a new income stream is invaluable to enable Council’s to continue delivering services to the public.
Can you tell us a bit more about PSP's track record in land promotion and regeneration?
In the Central Region, PSP helped Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council with the rationalisation of its Council offices. This involved moving staff out of a number of locations into refurbished offices and releasing the surplus assets, building value into them and then disposing of them. This enabled not just a capital receipt for our Council partner but also the realisation of significant revenue savings.
In light of the current housing crisis, what steps can Councils take to help alleviate problems?
It’s important to understand the current and future demand and build accordingly and sustainably; that is, houses that will cater for the way we live now and the way we’ll live in the future. Affordable housing is a big topic amongst many of our Council partners! It’s something that we have integrated into our PRS offering which enables Council’s to provide high quality housing and ensure tenants have a responsible landlord.
How do you think Brexit has impacted the housing crisis?
I think all the uncertainly around Brexit is quite damaging to the housing market and the wider economy. It’s holding back a lot of activity.