Councillors offices given over to staff

Monday October 23rd 2017

jarnac

The current office space above shops in Jarnac Court.

Office space for elected members has been changed and will be used by staff to save money and make better use of Midlothian Council buildings.

The refurbishment means officers based at Jarnac Court in Dalkeith will be moved into Midlothian House in coming months. Jarnac, which costs £68,000 a year to run and is in a poor state of repair, will close.

The council leader, Councillor Derek Milligan said: “We’re facing a budget shortfall this year alone of £13.5million, estimated to rise to over £44 million by 2012/22. We need to make every penny count.

“Part of our Change Programme proposals is making the best possible use of council buildings. We felt that it was important that this applied to councillors just as much as everyone else.

“The cost of carrying out the work will be paid back within the first couple of years. We will be saving £68k every a year thereafter by moving out of Jarnac Court which is pretty run down and ultimately, that building will then become part of the Dalkeith town centre regeneration scheme proposals.”

The refurbishment is part of the council’s Effective Working In Midlothian strategy to rationalise the council estate. Last year, staff moved from Dundas Buildings in Bonnyrigg into Midlothian House. Plans are currently being looked at for the future use of this building.

Responding to criticism that that the council are spending an additional £20k on doing up councillor’s offices as a ‘Vanity Project’, a council spokesman said to Midlothian View

“As space used by councillors was being reconfigured for staff use, this £20,000 was spent on refurbishing existing office spaces for elected members to make them fit for purpose. This refurbishment supports the council’s Effective Working in Midlothian Strategy to optimise the use of council buildings.”

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