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Council HQ could become care home
10:20am Monday 30th April 2012 in News
A HAMPSHIRE county councillor has floated the idea that if Test Valley Borough Council was to shut its Romsey offices, the site could be used as a care home.
Roy Perry, member for Romsey Extra, confirmed he had spoken about his idea at some meetings in the southern parishes and that it was only a personal opinion.
The borough council is currently consulting with staff about the proposal to close the site, which would form part of £1.1m savings needed.
Some staff took part in a protest against the move last week.
Mr Perry said the idea had not been discussed with TVBC.
He told the Advertiser: “I would like some consideration to be given to the possibility of using the Duttons Road site should it become vacant.”
He said the site was close to the town centre, on level ground and good for getting to the shops and amenities.
“I certainly think it’s a proposal well worth considering,” he said.
The Duttons Road offices, which provides services including planning, benefits, council tax and parking permits, is currently a base for 85 employees.
TVBC has been looking for smaller premises in the town which could house a drop-in centre, staffed by around 20, with the former magistrates’ court, in Church Street, believed to be the favoured option.
Union Unison has said the closure would mean the loss of 60 jobs in the town, would be to the detriment of Romsey residents and businesses and said some employees would not be able to afford the travelling costs if relocated to Andover.
Peter Phillips, Unison staff representative, said the timing of Mr Perry’s comments was “interesting”.
“The staff feel that the deal’s all sorted out to close the offices and to sell the site to Hampshire County Council and to acquire the magistrates’ court from Hampshire County Council,” he said.