Councillors at Epsom & Ewell Borough Council voted last night to undertake the relocation of the council’s Town Hall accommodation. Staff currently located at the Town Hall will move to 70 East Street, a modern purpose-built office building in central Epsom.
The move will bring about a number of significant benefits:
· Financial benefits: Remaining in the Town Hall building would require it to have extensive, costly refurbishment over the coming years to comply with energy efficiency and fire regulations, along with general maintenance of existing building structures which are reaching end of life, which would cost more than twice as much as the cost of relocating. In addition, the move will create significant operating cost savings into the long term, with annual operating costs expected to reduce by over 50%. These future costs savings will help sustain key service delivery.
· Environmental benefits: The new building will be more energy efficient and sustainable with a smaller carbon footprint, enabling the council to deliver on its ambitions to be a greener council and to become carbon neutral by 2035.
- Service benefits: The move will provide a modern and fit-for-the-future workplace that will best serve the Borough.
The East Street building is already owned by the Council. It is a five-minute walk to the High Street and bus stops are located directly outside the building, providing easily accessible public transport. The building also provides its own parking, serving visitors and those with mobility issues.
It is intended that 70 East Street will not accommodate the Council Chamber, and instead a separate proposal is being developed to locate this in Bourne Hall, Ewell.
Cllr Neil Dallen, Chair of the Strategy & Resources Committee, said:
“Our focus must always be on what is best for our residents, and the significant financial and environmental benefits of this move are clear. The current Town Hall building is expensive to run and contains a significant amount of unused space. The new building is smaller and will be far more cost-efficient. The costs involved with the move are far outweighed by the savings that we will make through avoiding the Town Hall refurbishment and through significantly reduced running costs into the long-term.
“Just as importantly, the move will allow us to progress towards our target to become a carbon-neutral council by 2035. We believe the relocation will provide multiple benefits to the borough.”
Jackie King, Chief Executive of the council, said:
“Relocating council staff to a smaller, modern and fit-for-purpose building aligns strongly with our ongoing determination to be a modern, forward-looking organisation that can best meet the needs of our residents. We are excited to progress with this move and improve value for money for our taxpayers as well as continue to provide the best services possible to the community.”
Work continues to look at options for the existing Town Hall site and this will form the subject of a separate report to the council’s Strategy and Resources Committee in due course.
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