Friday, 11 April 2014

Turf cutting for new Bodmin offices

This morning I joined local councillors and North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson to formally cut the turf to start the building of the new council office building in Bodmin.

The reason behind the project is to save money for Cornwall Council and, therefore, for Cornish taxpayers. Every pound that we do not have to spend on our own offices is a pound we can spend on vital frontline services.

At the moment, the council's office estate in Bodmin is old and dilapidated in parts. It is certainly not efficient or cheap. By spending money on new offices now, we will be able to bring all our local staff together in an efficientbase. We can then get rid of the expensive leases for rented property and sell off the buildings we own but no longer need.

We will also be building some space in the new offices to rent. The first option for this space has been given to our partners in BT and they have said they are interested in taking it up. But in case they choose not to, the council has also been talking to other public sector organisations and private companies who have also expressed an interest. Our aim is not just to save money for the Cornish taxpayer, but also to bring new jobs to Cornwall.

In West Cornwall, the council has consolidated staff from lots of smaller offices into fewer, larger offices. So we now have 1200 staff in county hall instead of 600 and 600 in Dolcoath in Camborne instead of 300. Making the best use of these buildings is sensible but there was no building in Bodmin suitable for this sort of treatment and so the new build is the bets option.

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