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Call for city council to move services to Otley Civic Centre
11:38am Friday 22nd March 2013 in News
Leeds City Council is being asked to consider moving some of its operations into Otley Civic Centre.
MP Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West ) and Councillor Sandy Lay (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) have made the proposal in writing to the authority’s chief executive, Tom Riordan.
Mr Mulholland, who was last week accused of jeopardising ongoing efforts to get the civic centre re-furbished and re-opened, said: “We have asked the chief executive to seriously look into the possibility of Leeds moving some of its staff to work out of a refurbished civic centre, and be the main occupant.
“This is the kind of essential first plank needed to allow the refurbishment to have a chance of going ahead, so other community and commercial usage can be built around this.
“For there to be a chance of putting together a realistic plan that covers the £125,000-per-year running costs, and for the town to have a genuine Civic Centre, one of the two councils with a stake in the building has to be the principle occupant.”
Coun Lay added: “As part of its review and alterations to office provision in the city centre and elsewhere, the city council is already looking at moving some council functions and staff out.
“So this could make sense for them, as well as Otley, with space in Otley being cheaper.
“I would call on Leeds to seriously consider taking on the office space to ensure plans for the future of the civic centre stack up.”
The local authority, however, has been working with Otley Town Council to attract other tenants and insists negotiations with a local public sector organisation interested in moving into the centre are continuing.
The Labour controlled town council will give an update on the Civic Centre project at Monday’s Policy and Resources Committee meeting.