Minister urges councils to share buildings

Wed 12th June 2013, 2:50 pm

Minister for political and constitutional reform ChloŽ Smith has called on councils to further rationalize their estates by promoting the sharing of buildings.

The minister visited Bromsgrove in Worcestershire where the county council is set to combine the police station and fire station in one building.

In addition, district and county council offices, registry office, customer service centre and Jobcentre Plus will be combined in one accessible site.

Chloë Smith urged local authorities to follow in these council's footsteps.

She said: "Millions of pounds can be wasted by services using expensive buildings when there’s a half empty property down the road – that’s taxpayers’ money which could be used in so many other ways.

"In central government, we’re working hard to ensure the taxpayer does not have to pay for empty buildings.

"Already, we’ve raised over £1 billion nationally by getting departments to work together and use their property more efficiently.

"It’s great to see local authorities making such good progress."

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