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One-stop council centre unveiled

PUBLISHED: 12:14 20 June 2008 | UPDATED: 20:40 05 July 2010

PLANS for a new £2.5m one-stop-shop facility for the district were officially unveiled in Lowestoft yesterday .

A deal to create a "brand new customer delivery centre" for Waveney District Council in the building next door to the Marina Theatre was rubber-stamped this week.

PLANS for a new £2.5m one-stop-shop facility for the district were officially unveiled in Lowestoft yesterday .

A deal to create a “brand new customer delivery centre” for Waveney District Council in the building next door to the Marina Theatre was rubber-stamped this week.

Improving services in the town for both locals and council staff, the move will mean that around 150 staff that work across the district will be leaving behind “poor accommodation” to move into facilities that are all under one roof in the main town centre.

The switch, which is being seen as a pre-cursor to the move into the Waveney Campus on the banks of Lake Lothing.

Other local offices in the district's market towns will not be affected by the move and the council said yesterday there would not be any disruption to service.

But, in completing the deal to move to the new building, the current staff portacabins in Compass Street will now disappear while the council's links with the Navigator Centre (at Lowestoft Library) will also come to an end.

Bev Herring, head of customer services and IT, said: “This is not saying the pilot scheme has failed at all. It has been a good exercise and while the collaboration with Suffolk County Council worked well, it is no longer financially viable.

“It has been an excellent pilot, but it's not suitable for the long-term as the building is not big enough,” she added.

The Waveney staff at the Navigator will now move into the new facilities, which will cater for all service provision under one roof.

Mrs Herring said: “This is a great opportunity to have a really great place for staff and the customers. It's such a good move for the area as a whole. This is not predominantly about making savings, we've looked at encouraging our staff to be out in the community and much closer to the customers.”

In the next three months, staff will be moving into the building on a “phased-basis” and the aim is to also pilot modern ways of working ahead of a move to the campus.

And provided the campus move gets the go-ahead, there will then be an opportunity in future years - given the likelihood that all staff will move to the riverside development - for the council to further utilise the building.

“The campus was never intended to provide a customer delivery service but we do want a presence in the town centre, which this obviously provides,” Mrs Herring added.

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