Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°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

Man ran up £24k debt on company credit card

A financial manager from west Suffolk who used his company credit card to join internet dating sites and buy flowers and jewellery, has been jailed for 15 months.

Dot Booley, 67, is skydiving for Halesworth Community Nursing Care Fund (HCNCF)

A thrill-seeking grandmother is to take a 13,000ft leap of faith for the charity that supported her husband through his final days.

The first phase of work to build a dementia memory walk in the corridors of West Suffolk Hospital has begun as a fundraising campaign to pay for the work more than doubled its £25,000 target to reach an impressive £60,000.

Long Melford Open Spaces volunteers at work planting trees in the country park.

A village park which the county council gifted to the local community three years ago has so far cost ratepayers £42,000 to maintain, it has been claimed.

Suffolk's former Chief Constable, Simon Ash launching the Bin a Blade amnesty in December 2010.

Police chiefs last night insisted Suffolk is a safe place to live despite new figures revealing officers have seized more than 500 weapons being carried in public in the last four years.

Olivia Nicholson, an agriculture student at Harper Adams University, in Shropshire, has spent recent months being mentored by a progressive pig farmer near Woodbridge as part of the McDonald’s Progressive Young Farmer Training Programme, launched in 2012. Photo by Daniel Lynch (lynchpix.co.uk).

A student with no previous experience in farming has made an impression working with livestock in the Suffolk countryside.

There is an environmental message behind the bike ride

In the fortnight that the Full Monty has been driving women mad at the Ipswich Regent and the Puppetry of the “O er Missus” has brought tears to the eyes of male theatre-goers in town, it’s emerged that another event for the broad-minded is on the drawing board.

Outgoing county council leader Mark Bee.

Members of Suffolk County Council’s Conservative group have until 5pm tonight to submit nomination papers for the jobs of leader and deputy leader of the authority.

Stock image of fire crews attending an incident.

Firefighters were called to a fire in an undercover market in Clacton last night.

Drink-driver Gintaras Sendzikas after his court hearing

An April Fools’ day drink-driver is facing a possible jail term after being arrested for drink-driving twice in 24 hours.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages