Posted: Wed 28th Jun 2023

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council looks to relocate HQ in bid to save money

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Jun 28th, 2023

A local authority is looking to relocate its headquarters – and says the move could save it around £400,000 a year. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council unveiled the idea as part of it’s Office Accommodation Strategy (2023-2030). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The plans says making changes could reduce the council’s carbon emissions by 41% a year – and would see the council leaving six of its existing office buildings. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It would see the council’s headquarters move from The Pavilions in Cambrian Park, Clydach Vale, into Pontypridd town centre – using empty floor space at Llys Cadwyn. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

And if the move were to go ahead, the Pavillions site could then be a potential site for a new special school to be developed, subject to consultation. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The proposal would also see services and staff moved out of Ty Trevithick in Abercynon, Rhondda PSSO in Tonypandy, the municipal offices in Pentre and Rock Grounds in Aberdare. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The plan would also move services and staff currently located on floors two to six at Ty Sardis, Pontypridd, excluding the housing solutions services, and keeping Ty Sardis as the council’s housing advice and support centre. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The overall savings would be £435,000 and officials say the proposals would get rid of a backlog maintenance liability of £2.9m. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The council said this is in response to changing ways of operating and to achieve important savings to support front-line services. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The proposed approach would see council offices relocated into council buildings around or near town centres to support the local economy. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The council said that these changes, whilst protecting and enhancing essential services, “also generate savings of almost half a million pounds per year to the council’s budget, plus the removal of a backlog maintenance liability of £2.9m across the six sites being vacated. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Significantly, the changes would make a huge contribution towards the Council’s Climate Change commitment and Net Zero carbon goal, by reducing our annual CO2 emissions by 41%.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE, the leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said: “On Monday, May 15, Cabinet Members will consider a Draft Accommodation Strategy that responds to the changing way that staff now undertake their roles, brought by the necessities of the global pandemic. Many Council employees work between their home and an office, which has significantly decreased the daily occupancy of the Council’s 21 main office locations. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Under these changes, the Council’s Headquarters (and Council Chamber) would relocate to Pontypridd, utilising vacant and available floorspace over three floors at Llys Cadwyn. This would be in a prime town centre position with much-improved access and transport links for staff and visitors – who would significantly increase footfall and passing trade for local businesses. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The Pavilions site in Clydach Vale could then potentially be redeveloped for a new Special School, subject to consultation under the School ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Organisation Code. Ty Sardis (floor 1) would be retained as the Council’s Housing Advice and Support Centre, with an opportunity to improve its current facilities. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Staff and visitors would benefit from much better accessibility including public transport links, while it would also generate increased footfall for town centre traders. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The Draft Strategy that Cabinet Members will consider next week takes into account this new way of working, with some of our office space no longer needed in the way it used to be. Other key factors are the opportunities to significantly reduce our carbon emissions, while also making savings with no impact upon service delivery in this very difficult financial time. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“The site in Clydach Vale was originally intended to be a temporary solution for the Headquarters of the newly-forming Local Authority after ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Local Government Reorganisation in Wales in 1996 – and the Council has been there for 27 years since. The site would continue to be massively important for us, with the potential for Rhondda Cynon Taf’s new Special School to be developed there in the future.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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