A report is to go to East Dorset District Council’s Cabinet in January recommending that the council moves out of its Furzehill offices and relocates its customer-facing services to Allenview House in Wimborne.
While the majority of the staff currently at Furzehill will move to Christchurch Civic Offices in 2016, the report recommends that front line customer facing services (housing, revenue and benefits, planning, etc) be relocated to Allenview House, home of Teachers Building Society in Hanham Road.
As the facility will not be large enough for the majority of council meetings to be held there, positive discussions have been held with the trustees of the Allendale Centre with regard to the possibility of council meetings being held at the Centre when the Furzehill council chamber is closed. As has been planned for some time, the Furzehill offices will be sold when all staff and members have vacated the premises.
The recommendations have been made by a Cabinet Committee whose Chairman, Cllr Steve Butler, said: “Our Wimborne Accommodation project has gone through several iterations, including the possibility of building a second floor and an extension to the Allendale Centre. In the light of the need for us to drive down costs due to the government’s austerity measures, members were uncomfortable spending a large amount on that capital project. We have now opted for something which is projected to save the council around £2.1m over the next ten years.
“Renting the office space will allow us to take a more flexible approach to our future needs. Moving from Furzehill to Allenview House will also give much better access to our services for customers.”
The report goes to Cabinet on 20 January 2016. The council’s Scrutiny & Policy Development Committee will get a chance to comment on the report at their meeting on 22 December. The final report is likely to go to a special Council meeting for approval at the end of January.