Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting COUNTY GAZETTE to 80360 or email us
'No intention' of relocating staff from County Hall, Taunton
SUGGESTIONS that council staff could be moved out of Taunton’s County Hall have been rubbished this week.
Somerset County Council leader Cllr John Osman has dismissed talk of the authority’s campus being sold off or rented out.
He was reacting to an officer report which moots relocating to Firepool or the never-used regional fire centre at Blackbrook – the news appeared in last week’s Somerset County Gazette and on this website.
Other suggestions in the report included demolishing C Block, selling A Block, leasing space at County Hall to other organisations such as the police and Taunton Deane Council and staying put and boarding up A and/or C Blocks.
In an e-mail to district councillor Ian Morrell, Mr Osman said: “Please remember that whilst officers may make proposals, it is the Somerset county councillors who make the decisions.
“Rest assured, I have no intention of moving out of our historic home in the centre of Taunton.
“However, I will look at proposals to make the most of our campus.
“If we can share our vacant office space with the Deane, the NHS, the police or any other partner, it would be mutually beneficial.
“Anyone who thinks that I would spend money on making County Hall fit for purpose and fit for my staff and then move out is not in touch with the real world.”
Ian Morrell, an Independent, said: “A Somerset County Council officer/s must have obtained member guidance for such a silly proposal.
“If they didn't, I'd be interested to know what gave them the idea and how they've now been called to account.”
The county is currently appointing a developer to carry out the latest stage of alterations to B Block so that from next June it can house staff currently working in C Block.
A council notification to members says: “This enables C Block to be vacated and thus become available for shared use by partner organisations as part of the overall County Hall campus strategy.”
Comments are closed on this article.