Potential Civic Centre movePublished: 07/03/2023
A council spokesperson confirmed the authority was looking at the possibility of relocating from the Civic Centre, as part of wider budget saving ideas, commenting:
“As outlined in our recent budget report to Full Council, the council is facing some significant budget challenges over the coming years. Last week, members approved the budget for the 2023/24 financial year, and agreed to increase Council Tax by £5 per year. This increase will help to ensure we can continue to deliver good services to the residents and businesses of Ashford.
“The budget paper also included a number of high level savings plans, and Council agreed for officers to start to develop plans to meet these savings. A number of ideas have been initially explored and some are currently being developed further to understand what savings they could bring us - one idea being potentially relocating from the Civic Centre building to nearby International House.
“Moving from the Civic Centre could contribute significant savings. Post pandemic, many organisations are working in different ways, and the Civic Centre is not as well used with the ability for some staff to work from home. It also has poor insulation and costs a lot to use and maintain. There are also some big ticket items which either need serious investment or completely replacing in the coming years, which adds to the overall costs of running the building.
“It is really early days on this idea and more details on this will follow in due course. We will of course keep residents up to date as more details emerge, but for now, it is very much business as usual.”