Lowestoft council sharing plan to be discussed

A money-saving scheme to relocate council staff from Lowestoft Town hall to the site of the controversial Waveney Campus development is set to be discussed by councillors.

The plan to move Waveney District Council's headquarters to the site next to Lake Lothing is part of a Riverside Road office accommodation project which could save costs by �3m over 10 years.

If finally approved it will see Waveney and Suffolk County Council staff in Lowestoft re-locate to shared offices.

Currently the councils operate from the town hall and nine other buildings which are said to be expensive to maintain and are unfit for purpose.

If the move does not go ahead it is estimated the town hall will cost up to �671,000 to maintain over 10 years while the county council could have to spend up to �7.8m for its maintenance costs over 10 years.

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The county council's cabinet and Waveney's overview and scrutiny committee will be discuss the plans' business case on Tuesday, with Waveney's cabinet considering it on September 24.

The business case says the costs of the project can be met if each council sets aside �6.825m for it.

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It says the project will free up publicly owned land for regeneration and the shared site will cut the councils's buildings's carbon emission by 70pc.

If finally approved the Riverside Road offices could be available by 2014 with the current Marina Centre public access office remaining open to offer joint council services.

Colin Law, leader at Waveney, said: 'The purpose of the business case is to ensure that it makes financial sense to proceed with this project.

'Any new accommodation must ultimately save taxpayers's money as well as provide office space fit to deliver 21st century services. '

The �53m Waveney Campus would have been a shared headquarters for both councils and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture but was controversially ditched three years ago due to challenging economic conditions.

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