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Councils agree sale of former court to become customer service centre
10:29am Friday 5th October 2012 in News
Test Valley Borough Council has completed the purchase of the former Romsey Magistrates’ Court, which will become its customer service centre when the authority closes its Duttons Road offices next year.
This is part of TVBC’s restructuring, which it hopes will save £1 million per year.
The former court building, in Church Street, has been bought from Hampshire County Council, some of whose social services staff will continue to be based there.
TVBC plans to move customer service staff from Duttons Road to their new home in February while the rest, around 65, will be relocated to the authority’s Beech Hurst offices in Andover.
The cost of purchasing the court building and making alterations to it has not been revealed by TVBC.
However, council leader, Ian Carr, said: “Co-locating staff not remaining in Romsey into vacant space at our Beech Hurst offices in Andover will achieve savings of £100,000 a year, with a payback in less than five years. This saving will make a significant contribution to our efficiency target and help to minimise any council tax rises.”
TVBC hopes the new offices will become a community hub which will also be home to voluntary sector organisations.
Councillors have requested a report to full council after six months to assess how the new facility is working. This will include options for accommodating voluntary organisations.
A TVBC spokesman said that the purchase of the magistrate’ court building meant TVBC could now go ahead with marketing the Duttons Road offices.