Cash-strapped council to spend £600K moving staff

County Hall, Matlock.
County Hall, Matlock.

A cash-strapped Derbyshire County Council could be forced to spend nearly £600,000 moving 250 members of staff, following a planning wrangle with a neighbouring authority.

Staff in the Adult Care Department must vacate their current location in County Hall, Matlock, after a planning extension was refused by Derbyshire Dales District Council.

The Adult Care Department is located in a modular office block at County Hall that was constructed in 1996 in accordance with a temporary planning permission from the district council.

The planning permission has since been renewed on a number of occasions and the latest planning permission expires on December 31.

An agenda document for a county council meeting states: “Due to the County Hall complex being listed and located within a conservation area, Derbyshire Dales District Council have stated that they will not consider an application for a further renewal of the planning permission beyond the end of December 2015. The Adult Care Block will therefore require vacating and demolishing before that date.”

Demolishing the block will cost the authority the most money – with an estimated price tag of £200,000.

Building work, refurbishments and alterations are expected to cost a total £151,500.

Other expenses set out in the document are: £65,000 on new furniture; £30,000 on removal work; £85,200 on ICT infrastructure upgrades; £62,000 on ICT equipment. This puts the total cost at a whopping £593,700.

There are around 1,570 council staff who work at County Hall.

The council has looked at several options with the preferred one being to move out of the block and have staff “hot desk”.

Derbyshire County Council will vote on the proposals at a meeting on Tuesday.

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