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Ladywell House still on the cards for council move

Created on 26/01/2017 @ 19:38
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Newtown's Ladywell House is still on the cards as a new regional HQ in north Powys for Powys County Council, even though it has yet to identify other council offices and properties to close.

At a meeting of the council on Thursday, officers were asked by Cllr Huw Williams asked "which other buildings have been identified and considered for disposal 'to reduce building ownership?

He added: "Are these unidentified 'other' buildings located in Newtown and/or further afield."

The council has said it plans to reduce the number of properties it needs or that are surplus to requirements.

In November MyNewtown revealed that the council was considering purchasing Ladywell House from the Welsh Government which currently owns the office block and has its own offices there.

It is believed the council would consider closing and selling off building stock surplus to requirements. However, there has been speculation that this would also include the closure of the current council offices at Welshpool, in addition to the Town Hall site in Newtown.

In response to the question, Cllr Rosemarie Harris, Portfolio Holder for Property, Buildings and Housing, said: "In answer to your question, at this early stage of the Council’s office rationalisation project no specific buildings have been identified for closure. However the Council does need to reduce its costs and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of its use of its office accommodation.

One way this can be achieved in the future is to identify properties that may be surplus to the Council’s needs, possibly because they are require modernisation but are beyond reasonable repair or perhaps because we no longer deliver our services in such a way that these locations are required. The purchase of Ladywell House is not directly dependent upon the receipt of capital from the sale of (as yet unidentified) properties."

A number of organisations, including the Welsh Government, The Big Lottery Fund and CAB are based at Ladywell House, although large parts of it are vacant. It is understood the council would utilise part of the building and continue to lease other parts.



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