On 5th the City Councill agreed to borrow upto £59million to build a new Civic Centre in Hanley to house 2000 staff. With 900 Staff moving from Stoke and the remaining 1100 from elsewhere, to enable these moves Cabinet Members were to agree to the below report
On 26th July, Cabinet Members were to agree
Corporate Accommodation Strategy – Central Business District
A report will be presented to seek approval to enter a contractual arrangement in relation to the rationalisation of office and ancillary services in the City Centre. This will be accompanied with a strategy which considers the future use of current property assets
Then On 30th August, Cabinet Members will agree to
Locality Working across Stoke-on-Trent
Locality working will support the City’s Mandate for Change initiative to make Stoke-on-Trent a Great Working City and Work With People to Promote Independence and Healthy Lives.
Consideration will be given to the way services are delivered across the City working with partners and where services will be delivered from. Development of the Customer Access Strategy will also be an aspect of locality working and be included in this development.
But the Corporate Accommodation Strategy – Central Business District is not on the Cabinet Agenda for the 26th July and appears to have been removed from the Forward Plan
Details of which buildings are being considered for closure to allow the 1100 staff to work in Hanley, have not yet been made public as it “could cause considerable unnecessary distress to staff who may be housed in a building being considered for redevelopment where, eventually the building was not so developed.”
But what about the local residents do they not deserve to be informed of what local services? YES they do but there would be little they or there local councillor could do, because as Cllr Shottom elegantly puts it ” The Corporate Accommodation Strategy does not need the approval of the City Council and is a matter for the Cabinet to determine.”
When are these discussions about relocation going to take place?
Advanced enabling works are due commence 20th August, Cabinet doesn’t meet until 30th August, so much for all members being able to scrutinize the asset review and closures before work commences
Can Cabinet members now not find the additional 1100 staff?
Will it in fact end up being just Swann House and Civic Centre which moves to Hanley? if so any efficiencies in working, which the £59million costs was suppose to achieve will fail to be achieved.