DWP to share new offices with Newark and Sherwood District Council
A NEW partner has signed an agreement to share office space with Newark and Sherwood District Council when it moves into its new headquarters in 2017 – increasing the overall savings that will be made to the taxpayer.
The Department for Work and Pensions will move its Newark operations from its current Lombard Street location to the new office site off Great North Road as part of a programme of changes to the way Jobcentre services are delivered.
The council is currently building modern, cost-effective and efficient offices - which will be shared with a number of other public sector partners – to make projected savings of up to £500,000 a year after it moves out of its current HQ, Kelham Hall.
In Newark, the DWP’s relocation will mean a significant reduction in the office space it currently occupies - by up to 75 per cent. Approximately 25 members of staff will join the council in the new shared office accommodation.
An increasing number of the DWP’s customers are using the internet or telephone to access support and information with Jobcentres increasingly used for booked appointments.
Graham Sheppard, DWP District Manager for Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland, said: “Changes in technology have provided the opportunity for the DWP to review its locations and services to ensure we get the best deal for claimants, staff and the taxpayer.
“By moving into the new offices which Newark and Sherwood District Council is currently building, and sharing the space with other potential public and voluntary sector partners, we will help more people into work.”
Newark and Sherwood District Council leader Councillor Roger Blaney said: “This agreement with the DWP is an important element of this forward-looking project. It will bring many positive benefits to our customers and residents by providing a more joined up and seamless service, with more than one organisation in the same location.
“With new, modern offices it also promises to be a much more pleasant experience with a fresh and more customer-friendly environment.”
"For both organisations, the site will provide excellent customer access and bring a positive impact to the local economy, supporting the council’s prosperity agenda."
Last year, the council exchanged contracts on the sale of the Grade I listed Kelham Hall, the authority’s HQ for the last 40 years, which is costly to run and maintain. The new offices are expected to be built by the summer of 2017 when the council will vacate Kelham Hall.
Both the council and DWP are working hard to improve accessibility for customers in the west of the district. A scheme is already operating in Ollerton, which the council hopes to expand in partnership with Ollerton Town Council, where the public can access jointly district council, town council and Jobcentre Plus services one day a week.
The district council will be improving customer access by delivering a service in Southwell based in the town’s library.