Councillors pledge to cut costs not services after confirming move from half-empty Daventry offices

First step in rationalisation programmed saving £750,000 over three years

Friday, 22nd July 2022, 1:06 pm
Updated Monday, 25th July 2022, 7:48 am

Councillors say they are cutting costs but not services after revealing plans to move out of half-empty offices in Daventry.

West Northamptonshire Council will close the 35-year-old town centre site by next April and find smaller premises as staff working from home means the building ‘no longer delivers good value.’

Plans for an office rationalisation programme needs to deliver up to £750,000 in savings over the next three years but does not involve job cuts.

West Northamptonshire is set to move out of the old Daventry's council offices before next April

Lodge Road was Daventry District Council’s HQ before it was swallowed up in 2021 as a massive local government shake up saw the new unitary authority replace three district councils and the county council.

West Northamptonshire Council leader, Cllr Jonathan Nunn, admitted the move will mean “significant change” for staff and the public.

But he said those council workers currently based in Daventry will be kept fully updated, adding: “We will remain in the town and residents will still be able to access all the same services that they can at the moment.”

Cllr Nunn added: “As a new unitary council we have always been open about the need for us to rationalise our offices.

“It forms part of the aim of the unitary to make services better and more efficient.

“Every penny counts, so thinking about the buildings and space we inherited from the old councils is something that the public are rightly expecting of us.

“Our new council’s service arrangements, coupled with staff adapting to different, more flexible ways of working after Covid, mean our Lodge Road offices are at half-capacity and no longer deliver good value for residents.”

The move in Daventry is part of a planned review of all the council’s existing buildings inherited from the former county, district and borough authorities last year.

Savings of £250,000 from the rationalisation plan were included in this year’s council budget, rising to £750,000 over the next three years.

Work is under way to identify options for alternative premises in Daventry in time for relocation to take place by April next year.

Council chief Executive Anna Earnshaw added: “These savings relate to running costs and there are no staff savings or job cuts planned in relation to the decision to relocate from Lodge Road.”

■ This article has been updated to include clarification from the council that no job cuts are planned as part of the move.