Cabinet approves further savings across property assets

Walsh building

We will be making further savings across our revenue budgets through a review of our property assets.

What does the plan include?

The plan, that could reduce costs by around £455,000, is centred around making best use of our buildings whilst ensuring that the core estate, that is vital to the function of the council and the heritage of the district, is protected and utilised to its full potential.

Huddersfield and Dewsbury Town Halls will continue to be considered core assets and work is already underway to establish the future investment needed to preserve these important buildings and keep them at the heart of Kirklees’ civic and democratic life.

Batley Town Hall will remain at the centre of community services in the town and could become home to a modernised library provision in a refurbished building. Moving of the library is subject to consultation, and a decision will be made at a later date. If these proposals were to move ahead it would mean that the current library building in Batley, which is in need of extensive refurbishment, would no longer be needed.

The plans also address the need to carry out further assessments on the condition of Cleckheaton Town Hall. The main hall is currently closed due to significant condition and health and safety concerns. The plan approves the mothballing of the whole building.

There is a proposed change to past plans for the Walsh Building in Dewsbury town centre, that could now be used as a modern hub for services including the customer service centre and library in a refurbished building. As with plans for Batley, moving of the library will be subject to consultation, with a decision to be made at a later date.

Council buildings across Dewsbury town centre will be viewed as a whole to make sure that place-based working arrangements are efficient and allow vital services to be provided to residents.

Councillor Graham Turner, Cabinet Member for Finance and Regeneration, said:

“The council faces a significant financial challenge in the coming years, and the need to produce a balanced budget in February has meant we have to look at how we operate and deliver services, and where we deliver those services from.

“As part of the process of delivering a balanced budget we need to save significant amounts of money from our assets budget.

“Reducing the number of buildings we operate from and creating a core of building assets will mean that we have the space we need to deliver vital services and provide office accommodation for staff from without paying for buildings that are not fit for purpose.”