Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 11°C

ESTD 1874 Search

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.

shares

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.”

shares

0 comments

Allison Heathcote and son James Heathcote at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, where she was treated after being shot five times in the Tunisia terror attacks.

A Felixstowe woman who was fighting for her life after the Tunisia beach attack in which her husband was killed has said she can only “vaguely recall” the massacre.

Cars for sale at the roadside

Trading Standards experts have revealed the top 10 most frequent consumer complaints.

Police called to a collision between a car and motorcycle.

A 22-year-old motorcyclist was taken to hospital after colliding with a car on the A12 at Melton.

Mars

A physicist who worked on a high-resolution camera that sent images back from Mars has turned his hand to writing.

Doeke Dobma of Clinks Care Farm, Toft Monks, Beccles.

An East Anglian care farmer has invited a group of refugees based around Ipswich to pay a visit next week and pick produce grown on his land.

East of England Ambulance Trust attended the scene.

A man was treated for minor injuries after two cars collided just prior to the Barnby Bends in Beccles.

Colchester General Hospital

A woman believed to be in her 70s was taken to hospital following a collision in Essex.

From left to right: Moira Ely, Leah Fuller and Colin Ely presenting the cheque for £2,000 to St Elizabeth Hospice after Colin's bungee jump in July

An Ipswich landlady has vowed to follow in the footsteps of her extraordinary dad – and tackle a charity bungee jump for St Elizabeth Hospice.

Efit of suspect in Ongar burlgary.

Burglars who attempted to break into a house in Essex attacked the family dog, which later died.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages