Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Hadleigh/needham Market: Integration plans cause concern

09:00 09 January 2013

Babergh District Council headquarters in Corks Lane, Hadleigh.

Babergh District Council headquarters in Corks Lane, Hadleigh.

CONCERNS have been raised about the future of council office buildings as plans to integrate district and borough authorities across Suffolk gather pace.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils are undergoing a radical restructure as part of a move to combine their services, including their planning departments. The councils are being used as an example for the integrated model nationally.

But while many recognise the benefits of sharing services to make financial savings and improve efficiency, some town councillors have expressed concerns about the future of key council headquarters buildings in Hadleigh and Needham Market, if the two bodies were to merge completely.

While the district councils’ administration acknowledges changes will have to be made to the buildings – which will become too big as staffing levels are streamlined – a spokesman said these were unlikely to occur within the next three years. But at a recent Hadleigh Town Council meeting, members said it would be devastating to the economy of the town if Babergh closed its Cork Lane premises.

Town mayor Mary Munson said: “The council’s revenues and benefits services have already been relocated to Ipswich and there are concerns that if the planning departments integrate, Hadleigh could be left as a satellite office. Most people in the older generation come into Hadleigh to pay their council tax and use council services so the loss would particularly impact on them.”

Councillor Jan Byrne said she feared the councils might deem it “logical” to close one of the buildings down completely.

Her colleague, Brian Lazenby, also believes a big proportion of the local population still require face- to-face services. He added: “Many people come into the town to visit Babergh’s offices and if they closed them, it could have a detrimental affect on the economy.”

A spokesman for the two district councils said it could take up to five years before a final decision would be made about the future of the High Street, Needham Market premises of Mid Suffolk and Babergh’s Hadleigh headquarters. He added: “Both councils are very much aware of the economic impact of the two headquarters on the towns and any decision on what happens to the buildings in terms of partial or full use will be considered as part of that wider economic impact. It is something that councillors have looked at and feel there’s a lot more work to be done in terms of staffing structures and changing how staff work within their communities before the issue of the future of the buildings is decided.”

0 comments

Car theft and break in

Motorists in Kesgrave are being urged to keep their cars locked and valuables out of sight after the latest in a string of attempts to access them.

Beatrix Potter fun day and celebrations at Long Melford Hall. Pictured is Maisey Doyle.

Birthday celebrations including a picnic, party games and a special trail have been held at a Suffolk hall in honour of the famous children’s author Beatrix Potter.

A computer-generated image of how the Sizewell complex will look after construction of Sizewell C.

Britain is set to get its first new nuclear power station in generations as EDF’s directors approve investment in Hinkley Point.

Chris Sturman with his family

A man who died off the Essex coast on Sunday has been described as “caring” and “much-loved”.

Martin Myerscough's Frugalpac cup

A Suffolk entrepreneur could soon be supplying his eco-friendly invention to the world’s largest coffee chain, after grabbing industry attention for his answer to an environmental problem.

Alexander Baxter, owner of gentleman’s accessory firm Baxter & Baxter

A 22-year-old fashion designer who left his day job to build a brand from the ground up has seen his accessories paraded on the red carpet.

Francis Bacon and Richard Chopping in a cafe

Their hell-raising antics in a small riverside town in north-east Essex became the stuff of local legend.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24