Public to be given extra chances for say on new home for council offices

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THE PUBLIC is to be given extra chances to have their say on a Yorkshire council’s controversial bid to relocate to new multi-million pound offices.

Members of Harrogate Borough Council agreed last year that their preferred option would see new offices built at Knapping Mount in the spa town and they are currently seeking public opinion on the proposals.

The authority has been considering a range of proposals to reduce its offices as staff are currently split between five main sites at Crescent Gardens, Springfield House, Scottsdale House, Knapping Mount and Victoria Park House.

The two options for consideration are relocating to a new purpose-built headquarters at Knapping Mount, leaving its other sites to be sold off, or alternatively consolidating them in three buildings – Crescent Gardens, Springfield House and Scottsdale House. Critics say building new offices is a waste of public money but council bosses say the authority will reduce its running costs by operating from fewer sites.

Last year a report prepared for councillors said: “The net capital cost of improvements and consolidation in existing buildings is estimated to be £4.8m against £7.9 to £8.9m for a development of office accommodation on the Knapping Mount site.”

However it found running costs would be far less if the authority moved to newly-built offices.

Yesterday the authority announced further drop-in events would be held to give more information. They will be held on: July 12 at St Peter’s Church, Harrogate, 10am to 2pm; July 16 at Boroughbridge Library, 10am to noon; July 16 at Pateley Bridge Nidd Plus, King Street, 2pm to 4pm and July 21 at Masham Community Office, 10am to noon.