FENLAND: County council buildings in March and Wisbech come under the spotlight
COUNTY council buildings in Wisbech and March are being looked as part of a radical overhaul of assets which could lead to cost savings. The buildings range from the social services office, a warehouse in West Street, and the Queen Mary Centre- all in Wis
COUNTY council buildings in Wisbech and March are being looked as part of a radical overhaul of assets which could lead to cost savings.
The buildings range from the social services office, a warehouse in West Street, and the Queen Mary Centre- all in Wisbech- to a students support centre in March.
The proposals are outlined in a report from Nick Dawes, director of finance, property and procurement, which highlights other buildings across Cambridgeshire to be included in the re-think.
The council's Shire Hall headquarters, which are expected to cost �4.5 million in maintenance charges in the coming year, will also be considered for possible cost savings.
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Mr Dawes has summarised a working party's study into county council assets which pinpoint eight major cost saving projects affecting large chunks of properties used by the council.
In Fenland the council plans to make better use of existing space and this could mean possibly extending their local headquarters, Hereward Hall.
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Mr Dawes believes the proposals for Wisbech could provide scope for a major regeneration project and at the same time providing substantial restructuring of services.
"This may include both customer-facing services and back office functions," he says.
Councillors will be advised this week not to slow down the programme because of the economic down turn.
BUPA has the potential to "contribute more widely to the local economy," says Mr Dawes. "The divestment of property by the council and subsequent reinvestment in construction projects will provide a steady stream of work for hard hit local construction and support trades.
"As a large local investor in property, the better use of council owned property must include an acknowledgement of our responsibility to generate employment in difficult times.