Controversial move for more than 300 Yarmouth workers halted

A halt has been called to controversial plans to relocate more than 300 Norfolk County Council workers – after it emerged the work to make it happen would cost so much it would not make the move worthwhile.

The council's cabinet yesterday agreed to scrap a plan to move 312 members of staff into Havenbridge House in Great Yarmouth's North Quay.

In December it was agreed to move staff based in offices around Yarmouth to a single 'hub'.

The transfer, officers had estimated, would save almost �120,000 a year, deliver capital receipts of almost �30,000 and shave �237,000 off the cost of the building maintenance backlog.

But analysis has shown the building would not cope with the volumes and variety of visitors and, according to a council report, would 'lead to unacceptably high risks relating to customer and staff safety.'


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To provide secure receptions areas, recreation and meeting rooms would cost more than �90,000, while the revenue saved each year would drop to just under �50,000.

So, at yesterday's meeting, the cabinet agreed to pull the plug on a wholesale move and to instead look at moving staff to a number of existing council-owned buildings, before identifying a longer-term solution.

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Cliff Jordan, cabinet member for efficiency, said: 'There's no easy solution when you try to put all these services together in one location in the centre of town.

'It's actually impossible because it's not conducive to cars and all the rest of it. It needs to be on the edge of town where there's good access to highways and transport.'

Jonathan Dunning, branch secretary of trade union UNISON, said the majority of the staff had not been keen on moving to Havenbridge House in any case.

dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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