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Council to consider consultation feedback as part of Accommodation Review

This news article was published more than a year ago. Some of the information may no longer be accurate.

Published: 17/05/2016

The review into South Gloucestershire’s office accommodation across the district is entering its next phase, as the public consultation on a range of options focussed on the future of the Kingswood Civic Centre and Badminton Road council headquarters in Yate, closed last week.

Almost 150 responses were received and these views will be considered in conjunction with further work on costs and the viability of the options when the council Resources Committee meets in June. At that meeting, Councillors are expected to make a decision on which option(s) to progress.

Once that decision is taken there will be engagement with teams that would be affected by any office changes on how such change might be effectively implemented.

The timescales for implementation will vary depending on the decisions made. It is likely that any changes could take up to two to three years to implement.

The review of office accommodation is part of the ongoing Council Savings Programme (CSP), approved as part of the 2016/17 council budget in February, the new CSP sets out savings of an additional £22million from annual spending, beyond those already made, by 2019/20. The CSP adopted as part of the 2014/15 budget sets out savings of £387k to be achieved from corporate property such as office accommodation and in February it was to increase this by £450k.

Rationalising our estate provides the opportunity to make substantial contribution to the savings, without cutting service provision – initial indicative cost projections suggested that we could make annual savings of between £220k and £430k depending on the combination of options selected. All of the options involve maintaining a presence in Kingswood to deliver local frontline services.

Council Leader, Matthew Riddle, said: “I would like to thank the public, staff and other stakeholders including the trade unions, who have taken the time to respond to this process. The council’s priority is to protect frontline services wherever possible and the options presented so far show that we can do that, while at the same time saving money on building costs and bills, etc.
“Any options that include changes to the way we deliver services or that impact on our staff will mean further conversations about how we manage that, but we are committed to serving the people of Kingswood and to our staff.”

Members will also be briefed in September following the consultation on whether and how the council might adopt more widely a Community Hub model to deliver some services. The process received almost a hundred submissions from the public and interested groups, who gave their views about incorporating multiple services, and possibly services delivered by other public sector bodies, from single points of contact in local communities.

If adopted, the approach would be only be implemented following further consultation in the affected areas. The areas currently prioritised for looking at delivering services in this way are Kingswood, Patchway and Yate and the council is also considering developing plans to pilot new technological ways of providing access to some services in Thornbury.

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