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Council offices remain open during refurbishment

Tuesday, 11th October 2011.

Refurbishment work started yesterday on Haverhill's council offices in Lower Downs Slade, to accommodate Suffolk County Council offices as well.

The project is the second joint scheme between St Edmundsbury Borough Council and the county council to share offices, the first being in Bury St Edmunds.

The Lower Downs Slade offices are to be retained as a customer hub for public services in the town as it is seen as the best asset from which to deliver co-located services, mainly in preference to the county council's Camps Road premises

The county council has purchased a 50 per cent share of the building and will vacate its freehold offices in Camps Road and move to Lower Downs Slade providing, with the voluntary organisations, a 'single front door' for services.

St Edmundsbury will continue to host the voluntary sector in its part of the building (the ground floor), in addition to its own staff and the offices will be refurbished to open up the accommodation on the first floor, where practical, to help provide flexibility.

Major repairs to the building, which was built in the 1960s by Haverhill Urban District Council, particularly the heating system and glazing, will be undertaken now, at a cost of more than the 305,000 originally estimated, which, along with future maintenance, repairs and running costs, will be shared on a 50/50 basis.

The councils have said other opportunities will be monitored, including the potential to relocate some or all the county council staff from leased premises at Sudbury.

Both councils expect to make significant savings by the move.

A St Edmundsbury spokesman said the contractors were managing the work to cause the minimum of disruption to visitors. The initial phase should last about six weeks.

The offices remain open as usual for both borough council services and for the services offered by the Citizens' Advice Bureau, Haverhill Volunteer Centre, 3CT and HAVO.

Haverhill Online News

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