I am very concerned as a local ratepayer that we are about to witness another waste of public money with this project.
I am pleased that there will be a public consultation but apprehensive that as reported in last week’s Advertiser that this is being “steered” towards one solution.
Not clear at this stage is what the “real” reason for the plan is. Is it :-
To able to dispose of the Cresent Gardens building to create a luxury hotel ?
To create addition office space ?
To improve operational efficiency ?
To overcome other problems with the existing buildings ?
Maybe the consultation will enlighten us.
Savings of £790,000 have been mentioned, but frankly the return for an investment approaching £10m is one that the private sector would not make.
They would typically expect a project return of 20-30 per cent.
Also are these savings deliverable in any case? It has been stated before that savings in manpower will be created by relocating some functions.
My personal experience is that these claims are likely to be spurious as with modern technology you can work virtually anywhere in the world efficienctly.
So surely the council can operate with more than one office location in a small town like Harrogate.
My biggest concern is that so few options have been mentioned.
Is there a “do nothing option” ? What about some cheaper phased options?
Has the council considered leasing existing office space or even outsourcing some additional services to the private sector negating the need for as much office space?
I hope HBC relook at their options carefully so that we end up spending public money wisely which has not always been the case in the past.