Colburn to get new council community office

The library at the Broadway in Colburn.

A thriving community office is set to be given its own premises at a cost of more than £50,000.

Richmondshire District Council’s corporate board will hear the Colburn facility, where residents can access a range of the authority’s services, has outgrown its base in the town’s library as space was needed to provide support to customers with queries.

Since being taken on as a community-run library, it has been reorganised, leaving the community officer beside the children’s play area.

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This has increased concerns about privacy and dealing with sensitive issues in the open part of the library and staff working at the office have also flagged the cramped conditions they are working in.

An officers’ report to the meeting states the community office is one of the council’s busiest and most needed, and as such “it is important that the service continue and be undertaken in suitable premises that offer confidentiality, and space for staff based there”.

However, as there were no available premises near the library on Broadway, and officers concluded the new office needed to be near the library and preferably in council ownership, it has been proposed to convert a council flat in Oak Tree Court.

The report said the cost of converting the flat into an office would be up to £56,000.

4 Comments

  1. As a resident of Oak Tree Court I personally disagree with the siting of the Community Office within Oak Tree court.

    Oak Tree Court is a sheltered housing building, the influx of members of the public to Oak Tree Court will put elderley, vulnerable people at risk.

    Also the cost to renovate the Bed-sit to the specifications for the Community Office is a cost that is surely money that could be spent elsewhere-they already have an office in the Library.

    The last time any money of any consequence was spent on Oak Tree Court, in the way of decoration, carpets, curtains etc was approximately 17 years ago.

    We have carpets that are so old they can no longer be kept clean, we have large cracks in interior walls, the decor throughout is at the best shabby, the curtains are so old that they are faded in places.

    Yet the Council can find £50.000 + so that their employees have a nicer working environment.

    As you can see from the content of this email I am not happy about this.

    Council officials did come – allegedly to outline what MAY happen if the Community Office came to Oak Tree Court – I personally believe this was merely a formality in as much as they paid us lip service so that they could say we had been asked.

  2. This is a copy of an email I sent to my local MP and also Richmondshire district Council.

    Dear Sir,

    Our local council (Richmondshire District Council) wrote a letter to all the residents at the above scheme.

    The content of the letter was to ask if we had any reservations for the Colburn Community Office to be based within the above Building.

    As you will understand there are quite a few concerns as to this proposition, as the only place we as residents can imagine this office being is in a vacant Bed-Sit in the property.

    Two Council representatives are attending the property Wednesday 22nd August 10.am for a face to face meeting with residents of Oak Tree Court.

    I personally feel that this matter has already been decided, and this is just a meeting to say that we have been asked, a mere formality I believe that we will be informed that this will go ahead with or without the meeting.

    The following concerns have been raised:-

    1 Security of the building. (this is a big concern for residents).

    2 Council staff walking around the building (they wish to use Bathroom and kitchen facilities used by residents).

    3 The bedsits all have kitchens and bathrooms in situ. (why not use them)

    4 Money being spent for Council use when , Oak Tree Court has not been refurbished in any way in the past 17 years, we have cracks in walls, extractor fans that do not work, paint crumbling from walls, old out dated furnishings and decorations in all main areas of the building. Stained dirty carpets that no longer can be cleaned. Also problems with drainage issues on occasions.

    5 We only have 1 entrance/exit in to our own flat/bedsit ( Fire hazard me thinks).

    6 The council are wanting to move the Community Office, as they have said they have to pay rent in the Library where the office is now situated, (will they not have to pay rent for the property in Oak Tree Court, because if not then we the residents will be footing the Bill surely.)

    7 This is a residential Building not a commercial property.

    I apologise for the rant but as a tenant of the above scheme, being over 65 and having health issues I do not relish the idea of the building not been secure and also money being spent needlessly when as we know all councils are noted for saying that they are short of money.

  3. I hope this is not being funded by public money 56k is excessive ….what works are being done to an already established building that would cost £56000 …..disgusting…also you are taking up a flat that could be used for a person in need…..stick a porter cabin somewhere…….on council land….

  4. Most stupid idea i,ve heard putting rent office in a wardened place…what about where it was before the library thats still shut up doing nothing…council must have money to waste…

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