Staff at Horsham District Council have started their move this week to join West Sussex County Council colleagues at the county’s offices down the road.
The district council staff will occupy the second floor of the Parkside offices in Chart Way in what is believed to be one of the first co-locations between a district and county council in the UK.
Horsham District Council is currently spread across four buildings on either side of a busy road. Moving to a modern, flexible and efficient working environment on a single site will enable the council to provide a better service for residents and will reduce costs for both councils.
Residents have consistently told the council that the geographical spread of services makes it confusing to know where to go to access services or to have enquiries answered.
Co-locating with the county council not only brings all HDC offices together onto one site, but will enable residents to access county and district services from the same location.
The move is part of the council’s Business Transformation Programme which is modernising many working practices. The move will additionally enable:
1. A better use of technology
2. The introduction of a wi-fi infrastructure enabling the Council to use its working space more efficiently
3. Better facilities for public meetings which will enhance the democratic process including access to wi-fi and modern audio-visual equipment
4. A better mix of meeting spaces which includes sharing facilities with other public sector partners
5. Improved self-serve options for customers in a shared reception area.
Commenting on the co-location, leader of the district council Ray Dawe, said, “Moving to new premises with a more open and modern working environment is a big further step in our programme to deliver all our services as efficiently as possible to our district. Sharing premises with the County Council will enable both organisations to provide the public with better value for money and easier access to all the services both councils provide.”
Louise Goldsmith, leader of West Sussex County Council, added: “We’re very much looking forward to welcoming Horsham District Council colleagues into County Hall North. Joining forces and sharing facilities will provide a better service for our residents who will now be able to find district and county council services housed under one roof.
“It’s another great example of what can be achieved by working in partnership.”
Council staff will start moving into their new premises from March 20 and the move is expected to be fully completed by June 1 2015.