Moving staff will save council cash

The council is vacating offices on Brandon Parade East
The council is vacating offices on Brandon Parade East

Cash-strapped North Lanarkshire Council is aiming to save a large chunk by moving staff out of offices in Motherwell town centre.

The authority, which is having to make £68 million of cuts, pays £160,000 every year to rent the upper floors of a building in the Brandon Parade East area of Merry Street.

Around 120 people work there, including staff who man the switchboards for the council contact centre.

Now councillors have agreed to end the lease on the offices in two years time.

In total, the move will save the council £328,000 a year.

A spokesman said: “We aim to move contact centre and other employees, approximately 120 people, to council-owned premises. We are looking at a number of premises within our estate.

“The report approved by the corporate services committee allows us to serve notice on the property owner and exercise the lease break option.”

John Gordon, head of corporate property and procurement, told councillors the authority has a 20-year lease on the offices which was taken out in 2003.

Mr Gordon’s report stated: “A number of asset management savings are being targeted to meet the required efficiencies as a consequence of the council’s savings agenda.

“In relation to the relocation of staff from the contact centre, initial consideration indicates there is sufficient capacity elsewhere within the office accommodation portfolio to accommodate these staff. However, the specification for call centres may require a fit out, including soundproofing.”