PROPOSALS to relocate a council’s headquarters as part of plans that could save it around £400,000 a year have been agreed.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council unveiled the idea as part of it’s Office Accommodation Strategy (2023-2030) which was approved by cabinet on Monday, May 15.
The plans say making changes could reduce the council’s carbon emissions by 41% a year – and would see the council leaving six of its existing office buildings.
It would see the council’s headquarters move from The Pavilions in Cambrian Park, Clydach Vale, into Pontypridd town centre – using empty floor space at Llys Cadwyn.
As part of the changes, the Pavillions site could be a potential site for a new special school to be developed, subject to consultation.
The proposal would also see services and staff moved out of Ty Trevithick in Abercynon, Rhondda PSSO in Tonypandy, the municipal offices in Pentre and Rock Grounds in Aberdare.
The plan would also move services and staff currently located on floors two to six at Ty Sardis, Pontypridd, excluding the housing solutions services, and keeping Ty Sardis as the council’s housing advice and support centre.
The overall savings would be £435,000 and officials say the proposals would get rid of a backlog maintenance liability of £2.9m.
The council said this is in response to changing ways of operating and to achieve important savings to support front-line services.
The proposed approach would see council offices relocated into council buildings around or near town centres to support the local economy.
The council said that these changes, whilst protecting and enhancing essential services, “also generate savings of almost half a million pounds per year to the council’s budget, plus the removal of a backlog maintenance liability of £2.9m across the six sites being vacated.
“Significantly, the changes would make a huge contribution towards the Council’s Climate Change commitment and Net Zero carbon goal, by reducing our annual CO2 emissions by 41%.”
Councillor Christina Leyshon recognised the importance of hybrid working but also said some services need front line facing staff and said they need to monitor the changes going forward to make sure they are good for the council and staff.
She said she is certainly in favour of the strategy especially the relocation of the head office to Llys Cadwyn in Pontypridd which she said would bring back the choice of using public transport which would help their green agenda andd bring even more footfall to the shops, cafes, markets and businesses of the town.
Councillor Mark Norris also welcomed the proposals especially the development of a new special school in the Clydach Vale area and said it’s Welsh Government policy through Transforming Towns to bring people back into town centres so this aligns well with Welsh Government future plans.
Councillor Andrew Morgan said it’s mostly about non front facing office and that moving into Pontypridd town centre makes sense in terms of public transport.
He highlighted the savings that the move to Llys Cadwyn is not going to cost the council but it will actually save money.
He said: “I’m certainly in favour of this. I think it’s the right thing to do for the tax payers, it’s the right thing to do for the environment and the climate and it’s the right thing to do for staff.”