City council’s move to make savings with county council
Gloucester City Council has moved to Gloucester’s Shire Hall to share the building with the county council in a bid to make better use of taxpayer resources.
Over 100 city council staff have relocated from the council’s previous base in Gloucester Docks to Shire Hall on Westgate Street, with the remaining employees moving to a nearby city council-owned property in the coming months.
The move is intended to make savings, share resources, facilitate stronger joint working between the two authorities and make better use of the public sector’s assets.
The city council occupies a floor of the recently re-clad building along with a few other rooms for political groups.
The city council rents the spaces from the county council for £202,600 a year, initially for a period of three years, and the cost includes a number of amenities such as repairs, maintenance, business rates, insurance, heat and lighting.
92-96 Westgate Street across the road from Shire Hall will house the customer service centre on the ground floor, while some council business partners will occupy the floors above.
The customer service centre is being specially designed to be a more modern and welcoming space for visitors and residents than the current reception, and follows the council’s recent move to a largely appointments-based service.
The city council is also investing in IT and telephony systems to improve how it delivers services. This investment is linked to the move, but would have been necessary regardless of the move.
The council’s previous base at the Herbert, Kimberley and Phillpotts Warehouse in Gloucester Docks is currently being marketed by Bruton Knowles and could be put to a number of different uses, including potentially a high quality hotel, subject to the necessary consents.
The city council’s move is predicted to save at least £100,000 each year.
Cllr Paul James, Leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “We originally took up offices at the docks to kick-start the regeneration and with the area now a huge draw for visitors it is time to make our buildings available for other uses.
“Our residents expect us to look for savings where we can and to make the best use of our resources and this move does that. The move and our major investment in technology has changed the way we do business and helps to make us a council fit for the 21st century.”