Council offices to remain in Richmondshire despite unitary change

Richmondshire District Council offices at Mercury House. Photo: Google.

The new unitary authority for North Yorkshire will maintain an office in Richmondshire when the district council is demolished, says the current leader of the county council.

In response to a question from Richmondshire Today on the future of the district’s council offices, including the district council headquarters at Mercury House in Richmond, the councillor said: “Exactly which buildings provide the best way to deliver these services will be for the new council to decide.

“However, the model which was set out in our proposal, and which was chosen by the Secretary of State, is equally clear.

“A main office in each former district area will be retained. These centres will offer face-to-face expertise and advice on a broad range of public services as well as practical meeting space to support local decision-making and democracy.

“These centres will be supported by a network of 30 additional customer access sites which will offer people the opportunity to get advice and support in, or as close as possible to, where they live or work.”

Cllr Les said the details of the new arrangements would be worked through over the coming months “as the county and district councils work collaboratively to deliver the very best for North Yorkshire”.

Wendy Nichols, secretary of the North Yorkshire Branch of Unison, which represents more than 5,500 council employees, added: “Our priority is to make sure that staff experience the least possible disruption so they can get on with their jobs and continue to deliver high quality and reliable public services.

“Many thousands of staff will now simply transfer to the new council as part of the process of setting it up and hardworking officers in the district and borough councils will be able to TUPE across on their current terms and conditions.

“I hope this announcement is welcomed by all members as really positive and that the spirit of professionalism continues as teams across councils work together to deliver a stronger future for everyone’s benefit.”