Latest Public Sector News

29.09.17

Council moots co-location idea in bid to work together more efficiently

Officers at Ryedale District Council are working on a business case that will look at the possibility of sharing a site with other organisations as part of a long-term ambition to create a new shared public services and voluntary sector hub.

The estates reform would make it easier for organisations to work collaborative and deliver long-term savings across public services, Ryedale argued.

The current ambition is that this will be on the site of the Community House in Malton, although the council will be asking other organisations on ideas for different options.

The authority’s current home, Ryedale House, no longer meets the needs “of an organisation that works very differently” to when the current building first opened in the 1970s. Maintenance costs at the site are also becoming a growing burden.

Clare Slater, Ryedale’s interim CEO, explained that the first stage of the process is about looking at options and finding out from potential partners “whether the creation of a new community hub could help them deliver their services too.”

“This is a big and ambitious piece of work, with the ultimate goal of making sure that we can support the Council’s services – and those delivered by our key public sector and community partners – in the long-run,” she added.

After a business case is complete and views from organisations and residents are collected, a final decision on the council’s future location will be made by councillors in February next year.

Cllr Luke Ives, chairman of the council’s policy and resources committee, said: “We’ve set out a bold ambition for how we can change the way we use our buildings to support public services across Ryedale.

“By working with others we want to help deliver savings across the board and make it easier for organisations to work together – this will help to deliver better services in the long-run, more cost-effectively.”

A number of options will also be considered alongside the creation of a single community hub. For example, councillors will look at the redevelopment of Harrison House or the possibility of a joint new development with existing neighbouring sites.

Alongside this, the district council wants to analyse the potential of relocating Streetscene Services from the current depot in Malton after agreeing to support the development of a Waste Transfer station at Kirby Misperton in partnership with North Yorkshire County Cuoncil and Yorwaste.

All of these options are expected to deliver long-term savings as a result of reduced running costs.

Speaking to PSE earlier this year, Brian Reynolds, who heads up the One Public Estate programme at the LGA, said he wanted to see at least another 100 co-location schemes take place across the local government estate by 2020 given their sheer simplicity and cost-saving potential.

(Top image: Geograph.org.uk, c. Gordon Hatton)

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