Council 'would save £45k a year' by handing over Christchurch information centre to volunteers (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Council 'would save £45k a year' by handing over Christchurch information centre to volunteers
ASSURANCES over how the future of Christchurch Tourist Information Centre will be decided were sought at a meeting of the full council.
Christchurch council announced last month that both the town centre facility and East Dorset’s Wimborne centre were being reviewed as part of ongoing cost-cutting measures.
Twelve jobs – full and part time – are currently under threat as officers claim the way potential visitors now look for information is changing to more online sources.
In Christchurch, the council intends to hand over the running of the High Street information centre to volunteers at the Regent Centre next door.
Building work would take place to integrate the information centre into the Regent Centre.
At a meeting of the full council on Tuesday, Independent councillor Colin Bungey, asked how much the council would save by handing the running of the centre over to volunteers rather than the “current professionally-trained and experienced staff”.
He was told by Cllr Claire Bath, portfolio holder for economy, that the council would save an estimated £45,000 a year.
Cllr Bungey then questioned whether the proposal to change to volunteer staff would be a “costly mistake for the economy”.
But Cllr Bath replied saying “savings made are in line with the fact that we have to draw in our belts and reflect on the way we deliver services to members of the public and in line with other areas and other boroughs.”
In another exchange on the subject with council chief executive, David McIntosh, Cllr Bungey asked for clarification on whether members or officers would make the decision.
Mr McIntosh said no decision had yet been made on who would make the decision.
The council’s resources committee will be asked to consider a full report on Wednesday September 25.
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