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Neath Port Talbot Politics Politics South Wales

Local authority to discuss axing use of five council-run buildings

MEMBERS of Neath Port Talbot Council will come together this week to discuss the closure of a number of their staff based offices in the borough, at a monthly Cabinet meeting.

Following officers recommendation they will seek the approval to close five council-run buildings, declaring them surplus to requirement with effect from March 31, 2023.

If given the go-ahead it would see around 190 members of staff moving to alternative locations at existing civic and operational staff accommodations across Neath Port Talbot.

It is hoped by council bosses that by closing the buildings, it will help the authority with savings on energy bills during the current cost of living crisis, as they aim to reduce on-going budget pressures.

The buildings set for closure include two which are owned by the council, along with three which are currently leased from third parties. The two council owned properties include offices at 36 Forge Road Port Talbot, and Ffrwydwyllt House, on Commercial Road.

In the case of these properties it would be proposed that they are declared surplus to operational requirements and handed over to the Head of Property and Regeneration, where steps will be taken to consider future usage.

The others which are leased to the council include 36 Orchard Street, leased by Neath Port Talbot CVS, as well as Baglan Resource Centre on Moor Road, and Cimla Hospital which are both leased to the council by the NHS.

Here it would again be proposed to declare these surplus to operational requirements, with discussions taking place for early surrender and termination of the leases.

The report reads: “Officers have now been embarking on an accommodation review and are undertaking this in phases that will see officers concentrate on different parts of the civic and operational accommodation buildings over time.

“Phase one is to identify some initial outcomes to achieve costs savings, Phase two will see officers consider options centred around the larger civic accommodation buildings. Phase three will see consideration of our depot buildings.

At each stage reports will be brought to members for determination on a manner to proceed.”

Phase one of the accommodation review will now be decided at a Cabinet meeting on February 22.