Christchurch council offices will not be sold

Bournemouth Echo: Christchurch council offices will not be sold Christchurch council offices will not be sold

COUNCIL offices in East Dorset are to close - making Christchurch Council's Civic Offices safe.

Speculation has surrounded the possible closure of the Christchurch council offices since an email from Chief Executive David McIntosh to staff, was leaked to the Daily Echo last year, laying out future accommodation plans for the Partnership.

A statement released on Wednesday afternoon said after looking at the options, a working group has decided the best one would be to have the majority of council staff located in the current Civic Offices with a smaller Civic Hub to be built in Wimborne.

Existing offices at Furzehill will be disposed of while the Civic Offices at Christchurch will continue to provide customer services and retain the council chamber, the statement said.

Officers have been asked to prepare a report to go to each council's resources committee seeking approval for further work on the preferred option.

Once completed, another report will be drawn up with a view to its recommendations being implemented.

No specific timetable has been drawn up but the move could take around three years.

Mr McIntosh said: “The decision for Christchurch and East Dorset Councils to share services has proved to be a sound management decision.

“It has provided, and continues to provide, savings, which have allowed both council to set balanced budgets.

“However, the pressure on future government spending and the shift of financial risks from central to local government means that we need to look at further ways to reduce costs.

“We also need to make sure we develop efficient ways of working suitable for the 21st century.

“It makes sense for the majority of our staff to be located in one building, both economically and in terms of efficiency. The cost of our two main buildings is increasing as they age and, having looked at the obvious options, the one we are suggesting is the most suitable.

“Although we will be reducing our costs, there would be no intention of reducing services to the public in either council area as part of any accommodation changes.

“Each of the two councils would be maintaining its sovereignty and will continue to meet and make decisions which are in the best interests of their respective areas.

“As there has been a lot of speculation about our future plans we thought it best to make the announcement to our members and our staff now so that they know the possible outcome. We will keep our members, staff, residents and the general public fully aware of any plans as they develop.”

Staff and councillors have been told about the plans on Wednesday.

Comments (16)

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4:35pm Wed 16 Jan 13

skydriver says...

Does this mean we will have to keep our clan of local councillors? What a great pity if we do.
Does this mean we will have to keep our clan of local councillors? What a great pity if we do. skydriver

4:50pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Burton Saint says...

Are these mergers, Dorset Waste Partnership, CBC, EDDC, NDDC partnerships the precursor to a single county wide council as with Wiltshire? That would then mean everyone 'governed' from Poole & Bournemouth as Wiltshire is from Swindon and Chippenham. Berkshire now has three (?) unitary authorities so could that be the plan by our civic lords and masters? Conspiracy theorists abound?
Are these mergers, Dorset Waste Partnership, CBC, EDDC, NDDC partnerships the precursor to a single county wide council as with Wiltshire? That would then mean everyone 'governed' from Poole & Bournemouth as Wiltshire is from Swindon and Chippenham. Berkshire now has three (?) unitary authorities so could that be the plan by our civic lords and masters? Conspiracy theorists abound? Burton Saint

5:01pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Victor_Meldrew_ Jnr says...

If this is the case, then I will say thank you Leader for at last listening to the residents of Christchurch. This is indeed fantastic news for the Borough, and all those who have been involved in the fight to save the offices.
If this is the case, then I will say thank you Leader for at last listening to the residents of Christchurch. This is indeed fantastic news for the Borough, and all those who have been involved in the fight to save the offices. Victor_Meldrew_ Jnr

5:37pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Justin Black says...

I have recently criticised the actions of the CEO and the Leader of Christchurch Council for the way they have decimated Christchurch. If the contents of the Echo report can be confirmed, then I take my hat off to both the CEO and the Leader for giving the townspeople of this Borough something back after all that has been taken away. Having said all that, it is a start but there is still a long way to go to regain the confidence of the people.
I have recently criticised the actions of the CEO and the Leader of Christchurch Council for the way they have decimated Christchurch. If the contents of the Echo report can be confirmed, then I take my hat off to both the CEO and the Leader for giving the townspeople of this Borough something back after all that has been taken away. Having said all that, it is a start but there is still a long way to go to regain the confidence of the people. Justin Black

6:00pm Wed 16 Jan 13

skydriver says...

Justin Black wrote:
I have recently criticised the actions of the CEO and the Leader of Christchurch Council for the way they have decimated Christchurch. If the contents of the Echo report can be confirmed, then I take my hat off to both the CEO and the Leader for giving the townspeople of this Borough something back after all that has been taken away. Having said all that, it is a start but there is still a long way to go to regain the confidence of the people.
I agree a very long way to go, although I doubt if they can.
I really think its time for a total change from the top to the bottom, they have all been there far to long, fresh ideas are needed and people who can LISTEN to the people they are suppose to represent.
[quote][p][bold]Justin Black[/bold] wrote: I have recently criticised the actions of the CEO and the Leader of Christchurch Council for the way they have decimated Christchurch. If the contents of the Echo report can be confirmed, then I take my hat off to both the CEO and the Leader for giving the townspeople of this Borough something back after all that has been taken away. Having said all that, it is a start but there is still a long way to go to regain the confidence of the people.[/p][/quote]I agree a very long way to go, although I doubt if they can. I really think its time for a total change from the top to the bottom, they have all been there far to long, fresh ideas are needed and people who can LISTEN to the people they are suppose to represent. skydriver

6:32pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Hewhoshallnotbenamed says...

I think this is disgusting that this news has been broken on the echo before staff at either council have been made aware...

So I am guessing the Stour Valley Partnership, which the majority of the staff are based at Furzehill, will be moving also.

I would like to see how much money it is has costed for this work to be done and how much money has actually be saved through merging the 2 councils...

Mr McIntosh has a lot to answer for with the way staff have been treated during this whole process...
I think this is disgusting that this news has been broken on the echo before staff at either council have been made aware... So I am guessing the Stour Valley Partnership, which the majority of the staff are based at Furzehill, will be moving also. I would like to see how much money it is has costed for this work to be done and how much money has actually be saved through merging the 2 councils... Mr McIntosh has a lot to answer for with the way staff have been treated during this whole process... Hewhoshallnotbenamed

9:18pm Wed 16 Jan 13

elaine191261 says...

I agree with skydiver comments ,lets try to christchurch back again and really mean it when it says "time is pleasant" !!!!
I agree with skydiver comments ,lets try to christchurch back again and really mean it when it says "time is pleasant" !!!! elaine191261

10:01pm Wed 16 Jan 13

twynham says...

skydriver wrote:
Justin Black wrote:
I have recently criticised the actions of the CEO and the Leader of Christchurch Council for the way they have decimated Christchurch. If the contents of the Echo report can be confirmed, then I take my hat off to both the CEO and the Leader for giving the townspeople of this Borough something back after all that has been taken away. Having said all that, it is a start but there is still a long way to go to regain the confidence of the people.
I agree a very long way to go, although I doubt if they can.
I really think its time for a total change from the top to the bottom, they have all been there far to long, fresh ideas are needed and people who can LISTEN to the people they are suppose to represent.
Skydiver, how on earth do you expect that to happen without new blood putting themselves forward for election?
.
These people have been there for as long as they have because nobody else can be arsed to stand; other than a recently elected Councillor who has battled for her ward but I am sure will be moved to a safer seat at the next election to fortify the Tory stronghold.
.
The best that can be done in this area if you are not prepared to stand is confront them, go to the council meetings, write to them, not just make comments here.
[quote][p][bold]skydriver[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Justin Black[/bold] wrote: I have recently criticised the actions of the CEO and the Leader of Christchurch Council for the way they have decimated Christchurch. If the contents of the Echo report can be confirmed, then I take my hat off to both the CEO and the Leader for giving the townspeople of this Borough something back after all that has been taken away. Having said all that, it is a start but there is still a long way to go to regain the confidence of the people.[/p][/quote]I agree a very long way to go, although I doubt if they can. I really think its time for a total change from the top to the bottom, they have all been there far to long, fresh ideas are needed and people who can LISTEN to the people they are suppose to represent.[/p][/quote]Skydiver, how on earth do you expect that to happen without new blood putting themselves forward for election? . These people have been there for as long as they have because nobody else can be arsed to stand; other than a recently elected Councillor who has battled for her ward but I am sure will be moved to a safer seat at the next election to fortify the Tory stronghold. . The best that can be done in this area if you are not prepared to stand is confront them, go to the council meetings, write to them, not just make comments here. twynham

10:38pm Wed 16 Jan 13

nameless2013 says...

Hewhoshallnotbenamed wrote:
I think this is disgusting that this news has been broken on the echo before staff at either council have been made aware...

So I am guessing the Stour Valley Partnership, which the majority of the staff are based at Furzehill, will be moving also.

I would like to see how much money it is has costed for this work to be done and how much money has actually be saved through merging the 2 councils...

Mr McIntosh has a lot to answer for with the way staff have been treated during this whole process...
@Hewhoshallnotbename
d
Firstly, thankyou! Seeing what time this article was published and knowing the time the email was sent to staff I am a little disappointed that the press were given the press release before the staff were told.

The thought of a move back to the Civic Offices is very welcome however as can be expected for some staff it will be further to travel etc and not so welcome.

@JustinBlack
Rebuilding the confidence of the people and the staff is going to take a great deal of time and effort. There are many good officers at both authorities that have been made redundent and it has been a shame to see them go.
[quote][p][bold]Hewhoshallnotbenamed[/bold] wrote: I think this is disgusting that this news has been broken on the echo before staff at either council have been made aware... So I am guessing the Stour Valley Partnership, which the majority of the staff are based at Furzehill, will be moving also. I would like to see how much money it is has costed for this work to be done and how much money has actually be saved through merging the 2 councils... Mr McIntosh has a lot to answer for with the way staff have been treated during this whole process...[/p][/quote]@Hewhoshallnotbename d Firstly, thankyou! Seeing what time this article was published and knowing the time the email was sent to staff I am a little disappointed that the press were given the press release before the staff were told. The thought of a move back to the Civic Offices is very welcome however as can be expected for some staff it will be further to travel etc and not so welcome. @JustinBlack Rebuilding the confidence of the people and the staff is going to take a great deal of time and effort. There are many good officers at both authorities that have been made redundent and it has been a shame to see them go. nameless2013

11:37pm Wed 16 Jan 13

DorsetEco says...

It will be tough on those who will have to travel a greater distance to work and also add to road traffic. Winbourne is 12 miles from Christchurch. Please councils, consider establishing a bus link operating between a suitable carpark in say Wimbourne and the Civic centre in Christchurch for daily staff transport. In this way they can be working as they go and not be adding to the volume of traffic on the road.
It will be tough on those who will have to travel a greater distance to work and also add to road traffic. Winbourne is 12 miles from Christchurch. Please councils, consider establishing a bus link operating between a suitable carpark in say Wimbourne and the Civic centre in Christchurch for daily staff transport. In this way they can be working as they go and not be adding to the volume of traffic on the road. DorsetEco

7:49am Thu 17 Jan 13

nameless2013 says...

DorsetEco wrote:
It will be tough on those who will have to travel a greater distance to work and also add to road traffic. Winbourne is 12 miles from Christchurch. Please councils, consider establishing a bus link operating between a suitable carpark in say Wimbourne and the Civic centre in Christchurch for daily staff transport. In this way they can be working as they go and not be adding to the volume of traffic on the road.
It will be tough however this wasn't an option when partnership working started and i can't see it becoming an option this time round. I can imagine a service like that would be underused and be very restrictive for staff.
[quote][p][bold]DorsetEco[/bold] wrote: It will be tough on those who will have to travel a greater distance to work and also add to road traffic. Winbourne is 12 miles from Christchurch. Please councils, consider establishing a bus link operating between a suitable carpark in say Wimbourne and the Civic centre in Christchurch for daily staff transport. In this way they can be working as they go and not be adding to the volume of traffic on the road.[/p][/quote]It will be tough however this wasn't an option when partnership working started and i can't see it becoming an option this time round. I can imagine a service like that would be underused and be very restrictive for staff. nameless2013

11:22am Thu 17 Jan 13

SurfReefFunTime says...

Makes perfect sense :)

Saves money. One people one place....common sense.

Get with the programme people. Change is the norm, embrace it yo!
Makes perfect sense :) Saves money. One people one place....common sense. Get with the programme people. Change is the norm, embrace it yo! SurfReefFunTime

12:42pm Thu 17 Jan 13

coster says...

Its an awful sound - McIntosh weeping.
Its an awful sound - McIntosh weeping. coster

1:38pm Thu 17 Jan 13

scrumpyjack says...

DorsetEco wrote:
It will be tough on those who will have to travel a greater distance to work and also add to road traffic. Winbourne is 12 miles from Christchurch. Please councils, consider establishing a bus link operating between a suitable carpark in say Wimbourne and the Civic centre in Christchurch for daily staff transport. In this way they can be working as they go and not be adding to the volume of traffic on the road.
Absolutely and of course we will pay for it, like the pensions.
[quote][p][bold]DorsetEco[/bold] wrote: It will be tough on those who will have to travel a greater distance to work and also add to road traffic. Winbourne is 12 miles from Christchurch. Please councils, consider establishing a bus link operating between a suitable carpark in say Wimbourne and the Civic centre in Christchurch for daily staff transport. In this way they can be working as they go and not be adding to the volume of traffic on the road.[/p][/quote]Absolutely and of course we will pay for it, like the pensions. scrumpyjack

4:12pm Thu 17 Jan 13

DorsetEco says...

nameless2013 wrote:
DorsetEco wrote:
It will be tough on those who will have to travel a greater distance to work and also add to road traffic. Winbourne is 12 miles from Christchurch. Please councils, consider establishing a bus link operating between a suitable carpark in say Wimbourne and the Civic centre in Christchurch for daily staff transport. In this way they can be working as they go and not be adding to the volume of traffic on the road.
It will be tough however this wasn't an option when partnership working started and i can't see it becoming an option this time round. I can imagine a service like that would be underused and be very restrictive for staff.
My proposal is not that it should be an option, but a condition of service.

In return the employee would be paid the moment they started work whilst in transit.

We waste too much of our time driving ever increasing distaces to and from work
[quote][p][bold]nameless2013[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]DorsetEco[/bold] wrote: It will be tough on those who will have to travel a greater distance to work and also add to road traffic. Winbourne is 12 miles from Christchurch. Please councils, consider establishing a bus link operating between a suitable carpark in say Wimbourne and the Civic centre in Christchurch for daily staff transport. In this way they can be working as they go and not be adding to the volume of traffic on the road.[/p][/quote]It will be tough however this wasn't an option when partnership working started and i can't see it becoming an option this time round. I can imagine a service like that would be underused and be very restrictive for staff.[/p][/quote]My proposal is not that it should be an option, but a condition of service. In return the employee would be paid the moment they started work whilst in transit. We waste too much of our time driving ever increasing distaces to and from work DorsetEco

6:08pm Sun 20 Jan 13

Burtongreenandpleasantland says...

DEMOCRACY DEFEATED BY MACINTOSH MASTERSTROKE

Smart move – maintain the civic offices at Christchurch in order to pacify the Christchurch Councillors who were increasingly looking over there shoulders at UKIP’s promise of a referendum – a democratic vote on which council to merge with.

CIVIC OFFICES FOR SALE – available for occupation immediately after local government elections in 2014 when Highcliffe Councillors will, yet again, be welded to their over-dominant position of power.
It is of course a complete coincidence that the current ban on building on the flood plane is expected to be relaxed in the next couple of years resulting in a significant increase in value . . . enough to pay for THE MACINTOSH MASTER PLAN, flash new offices at the airport.

Democracy (n) a superfluous exercise designed to give the electorate the impression that Christchurch Councillors listen to the views of residents
DEMOCRACY DEFEATED BY MACINTOSH MASTERSTROKE Smart move – maintain the civic offices at Christchurch in order to pacify the Christchurch Councillors who were increasingly looking over there shoulders at UKIP’s promise of a referendum – a democratic vote on which council to merge with. CIVIC OFFICES FOR SALE – available for occupation immediately after local government elections in 2014 when Highcliffe Councillors will, yet again, be welded to their over-dominant position of power. It is of course a complete coincidence that the current ban on building on the flood plane is expected to be relaxed in the next couple of years resulting in a significant increase in value . . . enough to pay for THE MACINTOSH MASTER PLAN, flash new offices at the airport. Democracy (n) a superfluous exercise designed to give the electorate the impression that Christchurch Councillors listen to the views of residents Burtongreenandpleasantland

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