Shake-up for civic services could mean 100 jobs will go as council seeks savings

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UP to 100 posts could be lost as part of the biggest shake-up of Harrogate’s civic services in a generation.

As revealed by the Yorkshire Post, Harrogate Council is planning a multi-million pound sell off of the five main offices it currently occupies to move into one new site.

It had been thought that a two per cent reduction in costs from its 500-office based staff would cover the expense of the move.

But now a report, prepared by a panel established to look into the sell-off, has disclosed that the council may now make staff efficiency savings of up to 20 per cent.

Chair of the panel Coun Jim Clark said: “There will be jobs created in the private sector from this and a net gain in total.

“But it is a lot of staff that are going to be affected by this.

“This is not only an office accommodation strategy but a way the council can make its back offices more efficient.”

The report also raises the possibility of sharing a new building with the health service and police to provide the force with a town centre base.

The council voted on Thursday night to push ahead with plans to sell off its offices, including historic Crescent Gardens to be converted into a boutique hotel, and moving into one new site either at Hornbeam Park, Central House, Beckwith Knowle, Pannal, or the current police station site in the town centre.