Council jobs to stay in town
HUNDREDS of Cornwall Council employees will stay in Liskeard and not be moved to a new office complex in Bodmin, the county authority has proposed.
The move has been hailed as a "step in the right direction" for the town by community leaders this week.
The council had originally proposed to move hundreds of staff to the new complex in Bodmin, along with public sector workers from St Austell and Wadebridge, but now it is proposed that just 30 people from Liskeard will move to the new hub from Luxstowe House.
Sally Hawken, Cornwall councillor for Liskeard East, said: "The proposal is a very positive step in the right direction.
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"The jobs are really important for the local economy and it's important that the people across the South East don't have to travel too far for services."
The proposal will be discussed by the council's finance and resources portfolio advisory committee and the findings will be considered by the Cabinet on November 6.
There were concerns from councillors in Liskeard over the potential loss of council jobs in the area if the council opted for the larger 650-person building in Bodmin.
The previous council meeting investigated the relative costs of creating both a new 350-person office and a 675-person office in Bodmin.
The first option would involve relocating all existing council staff working in Bodmin into the new building, while the second could involve relocating staff from other areas in Cornwall.
While both options would save money, the larger building would produce greater economies of scale, the council said.
Alex Folkes, the council's Cabinet member for finance and resources, said that his preferred option would be to maintain a strong presence in both these towns and instead move staff from BT Cornwall into the new building in Bodmin.
Councillor Folkes said: "I recognise the importance of council jobs on the economies of local towns.
"A full consultation will take place with all of the affected staff to ensure that their views are taken into account before any proposal is confirmed."
However, the council's budget and workforce is decreasing and the changing needs of the service meant it was difficult to give any guarantee over the precise numbers of staff in any single town, it said.