Staff begin to move into new council offices in Lowestoft
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015
Lowestoft's new Riverside building for Waveney District Council and Suffolk County Council workers has been described as a 'real asset' for the town which will save the taxpayer money.
On his first official engagement as the new leader of Suffolk County Council, Colin Noble was given a guided tour of the new three-storey premises, which will be shared by 450 employees from the two authorities as part of a wider £13.6million accommodation programme.
Mr Noble praised the contractor Kier Construction and the team that finished the project on time and to budget. He also described how the building will be a 'great place to work' for staff.
'I remember when it was just a set of plans and I think the building has come together beautifully,' Mr Noble said.
'We have group of people coming together, working for the good of the community which shows investment.
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'It can spearhead the regeneration of this area and this is an incredibly important building to do that.
'It lowers the running costs and provides a good working environment for people to deliver high quality public services.'
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At the moment only a handful of staff have moved over to the new building, with spaces for the children and young people's services, planning, building, IT and legal teams.
There was also a chance to look around the public café, the conference room which will hold the council chamber meetings, breakout spaces, the shared hot-desking section and rooftop terrace.
David Ritchie, deputy leader of Waveney District Council, also joined the tour by Peter Revell, programme director for the Lowestoft Shared Accommodation Programme, who described it as a 'truly flexible building'.
Mr Ritchie said: 'Fundamentally we have a wonderful new building which provides a really good working environment for staff but it actually is going to cost both councils less money.
'It will lead to further efficiencies with Waveney's offices all being in one space allowing us to communicate.
'In half an hour I can see half a dozen officers that I need to catch up with, in both councils, all in the same place.'
After the tour of the new Riverside building, Waveney MP Peter Aldous held a meeting with newly-elected Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble about the future of Waveney.
Mr Aldous described his priorities for discussion as the third crossing, better broadband access and improving the roads to Lowestoft.
He was keen to begin his work with both councils after being re-elected as Waveney MP.
'Over the last five years, the government have laid foundations for doing some exciting work for Suffolk and for Waveney,' Mr Aldous said.
'Over the next 5 years our strategy is to bring that to fruition and deliver some of these things.'
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