UPDATE: Council HQ move backed

Councillors agree to North Quay relocation plans

Councillors agree to North Quay relocation plans

First published in News
Last updated

COUNCIL relocation plans from North Quay in Weymouth have been backed.

Officers will now consult widely about the proposed front of house office relocation plans and will seek support from unions for the recommended proposals prior to implementation.

Last year Weymouth and Portland Borough Council agreed to dispose of the North Quay site which has been its base for more than 40 years. Refurbishing the offices would cost more than £2 million.

Councillors on the management committee debated the issue and heard proposed plans to relocate operations to three different sites – including moving almost 100 staff to Dorchester.

An amendment by Labour councillors to investigate costs further and refer the issue to a scrutiny committee while also waiting for a decision by the new chief executive was lost on a 6-3 vote.

After much debate the committee agreed to recommendations to relocate ‘front office’ facilities to the upstairs Mulberry Suite at Weymouth Library, this would be to provide front of house services and areas could be converted for council meetings.

The Crookhill Depot in Chickerell could be used for local and some back office facilities, including hosting the Parking Section cash counting and back office services.

The remaining North Quay staff, including those covering HR, legal, finance and other similar functions, would then move to West Dorset District Council’s South Walks House in Dorchester. This is subject to an agreement with the district council.

Relocating would save £220,000 a year.

It was agreed that consultations would be done with the public and unions, stakeholders and staff in respect to the recommendations and that the results should be reported back to a future Management Committee meeting.

A Unison representative raised concerns about the difference between consultation and communication.

Coun Ian Roebuck said that consultation was ‘absolutely crucial.’ One elected member from each of the three political parties will sit on the project group as part of that consultation process.

Putting the decision into context, Coun Peter Chapman said that between 2010-20 they had a reduction in budget of £9 million, so far they had achieved £6million but there was the ‘toughest’ £3million to go.

He said: “The end goal is a substantial saving that will protect jobs and protect services.”

He added that no-one particularly liked the North Quay building aesthetically and called it an ‘eyesore.’ The final plans were not in front of them, Mr Chapman said and consultation would be carried out to create the final idea.

He said: “The final decision is not in front of us, but the idea is feasible.”

David Clarke, borough council chief executive, sought to reassure members and said that the ‘consultation starts now.’ Concerns had been raised that with staff moving from working in Weymouth to working in Dorchester, there could be economic repercussions.

But he said: “The real economic effect is based on where people live. We are not changing that.”

Poundbury architects Ben Penreath and Associates have been appointed by Weymouth and Portland Borough Council to produce an outline planning application for a ‘sympathetic’ mixed development for North Quay. They have created an indicative artist’s impression of what the site could look like, which complements the work already being done at the nearby old fire station site.

 

THE Pavilion’s Ocean Room will be the temporary site for council meetings until more permanent arrangements can be made.

Councillors had to look at a range of options to house future full council meetings in view of the likelihood that the sale of the Guildhall being concluded by June 2014. The site or venues will house the full council meetings until a new base is created alongside the North Quay move plans, possibly at the Mulberry Suite site.

Many venues had been looked at including schools, and hotels.

A report to councillors suggested that if they wanted the same venue for all meetings between June 2014- May 2015, that the Ocean Rooms was the only option- to which councillors agreed.

Speaking in the public participation section, Councillor Kate Wheller said it would not be appropriate for the council to roam about different places ‘like a bunch of travelling clowns’ and that the Ocean Room was a good option, with good facilities and parking.

Comments (10)

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3:27pm Tue 4 Mar 14

shy talk says...

Councillor Kate Wheller said, “It would not be appropriate for the council to roam about different places like a bunch of travelling clowns” How refreshing to hear what a Councillor thinks about herself and fellow Councillors.
Councillor Kate Wheller said, “It would not be appropriate for the council to roam about different places like a bunch of travelling clowns” How refreshing to hear what a Councillor thinks about herself and fellow Councillors. shy talk
  • Score: 7

4:24pm Tue 4 Mar 14

oldbrock says...

shy talk wrote:
Councillor Kate Wheller said, “It would not be appropriate for the council to roam about different places like a bunch of travelling clowns” How refreshing to hear what a Councillor thinks about herself and fellow Councillors.
seems its ok for councillors to treat their residents like CLONES though! don't they think highly of themselves, these PUBLIC SERVANTS????
[quote][p][bold]shy talk[/bold] wrote: Councillor Kate Wheller said, “It would not be appropriate for the council to roam about different places like a bunch of travelling clowns” How refreshing to hear what a Councillor thinks about herself and fellow Councillors.[/p][/quote]seems its ok for councillors to treat their residents like CLONES though! don't they think highly of themselves, these PUBLIC SERVANTS???? oldbrock
  • Score: -4

4:28pm Tue 4 Mar 14

oldbrock says...

anybody noticed, when savings have to be made, there is never ANY reduction in councillors expenses, instead the easy targets, services the council tax payer shells out for but increasingly will not receive ?
anybody noticed, when savings have to be made, there is never ANY reduction in councillors expenses, instead the easy targets, services the council tax payer shells out for but increasingly will not receive ? oldbrock
  • Score: 4

4:42pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Get a grip says...

I do not know why they do not just accept the inevitable and move lock stock and barrel to Dorchester.

After all it is only a matter of time before they are swallowed up by West Dorset district Council
I do not know why they do not just accept the inevitable and move lock stock and barrel to Dorchester. After all it is only a matter of time before they are swallowed up by West Dorset district Council Get a grip
  • Score: 7

6:17pm Tue 4 Mar 14

PHonnor says...

Be interested to see who buys the guild hall and what they do with it.
Be interested to see who buys the guild hall and what they do with it. PHonnor
  • Score: 4

7:26pm Tue 4 Mar 14

cosmick says...

Seems all the best paid jobs go to Dorchester, and the also rans stay at Weymouth. A saving of 220000 pounds a year after selling off the site seems a small amount to me.
Seems all the best paid jobs go to Dorchester, and the also rans stay at Weymouth. A saving of 220000 pounds a year after selling off the site seems a small amount to me. cosmick
  • Score: -2

9:41pm Tue 4 Mar 14

JamesYoung says...

cosmick wrote:
Seems all the best paid jobs go to Dorchester, and the also rans stay at Weymouth. A saving of 220000 pounds a year after selling off the site seems a small amount to me.
£8 per year per household off council tax (i know it doesn't quite work that way)
Or £700 off the business rates of the 292 shops and offices.
Or free parking for October until April.
I'll take any of those :-).
[quote][p][bold]cosmick[/bold] wrote: Seems all the best paid jobs go to Dorchester, and the also rans stay at Weymouth. A saving of 220000 pounds a year after selling off the site seems a small amount to me.[/p][/quote]£8 per year per household off council tax (i know it doesn't quite work that way) Or £700 off the business rates of the 292 shops and offices. Or free parking for October until April. I'll take any of those :-). JamesYoung
  • Score: 2

10:04pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Noidear says...

After the mess they made of the Olympics , best they all resign and start again. All that money wasted.
After the mess they made of the Olympics , best they all resign and start again. All that money wasted. Noidear
  • Score: -2

4:05pm Wed 5 Mar 14

val@ chickerell says...

Note the Council need a new meeting place and have chosen the Ocean Room at the Pavillion. Funny that they wanted to close the Pavillion and now it serves their needs, are they going to pay the going rate for the room and the parking? All credit to Phil Say and his team, they seem to be achieving more than the council in latter years.
Note the Council need a new meeting place and have chosen the Ocean Room at the Pavillion. Funny that they wanted to close the Pavillion and now it serves their needs, are they going to pay the going rate for the room and the parking? All credit to Phil Say and his team, they seem to be achieving more than the council in latter years. val@ chickerell
  • Score: 0

7:27pm Wed 5 Mar 14

Caption Sensible says...

Is Herrison still available?
Is Herrison still available? Caption Sensible
  • Score: 0

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