Council on the move?

By staff reporter in Local People

Gloucester City Council could soon be on the move from the docks to the Shire Hall.

The council has revealed it is seeking to start discussions with Gloucestershire County Council about re-locating into the Westgate Street offices.

"The city council is looking to make savings and improve efficiency by making changes to its headquarters," said a spokesman.

"A number of proposals have been put forward, one of which is to move staff to Shire Hall.

"Currently, the city council occupies parts of the Herbert, Kimberley and Philpotts warehouses in Gloucester docks, and a small amount of space in the adjacent North warehouse.

"As part of the ’Together Gloucester’ transformation, the city council is looking to downsize and adopt flexible working to be able to fit into just one warehouse. However, alternative proposals of moving staff elsewhere have also been investigated.

"Whilst there would be some running cost savings from moving from three warehouses to just one, it would cost the council a sizeable amount of money to refurbish and move its infrastructure. Moving elsewhere might prove better value for money.

"The council intends to retain the Civic Suite in North Warehouse regardless of a relocation in order to maintain the council’s identity and preserve the city’s rich civic tradition.

"Moving into Shire Hall alongside the county council could have other benefits such as better collaborative working and combined efficiency savings. This option has been recommended as the most beneficial to explore in the short term.

Cllr David Norman, cabinet member for performance and resources said: "A move to Shire Hall would offer a number of advantages for the city council. The vacant possession of the warehouses will provide a new commercial opportunity in the docks, with the potential to generate income for the council.

"It could reduce the need to invest in new infrastructure and it could increase the opportunity for the city and county council to work more collaboratively across complementary services.

"Gloucestershire County Council is receptive to this proposal but negotiations are in the early stages and further discussions are needed."

Meanwhile, the Shire Hall is undergoing refurbishment to provide ’a more eco-friendly, and efficient office space for staff.’

Plans are in place to fit solar panels to light Shire Hall and significantly reduce the council’s energy bills and carbon footprint.

The refurbishment is part of the regeneration of Blackfriars and Quayside. The refurbishment is due to finish in 2018.

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