Castlewood HQ ready for staff

NORTH Somerset Council’s new Clevedon ‘hub’ could be fully operational by Christmas.

The unitary authority will start moving staff into its Castlewood office next week and by the end of December about 540 staff will be on site.

Castlewood will become one of the unitary authority’s main ‘hubs’, along with the Town Hall in Weston, and council staff currently employed in 18 district offices will be brought together in one of the buildings.

The first staff teams will transfer to the Clevedon site on Monday, with two further moves on November 29 and December 13.

NHS North Somerset is currently in talks with the council about sharing some of the office space and has agreed ‘in principle’ to make the move.

Agilisys, the council’s recently-appointed support services partner which plans to create 200 new jobs over the next four years, will also be basing some of its staff at Castlewood.

Council leader Nigel Ashton, said: “As the country prepares for public spending cuts, the use of Castlewood is the next step in North Somerset Council’s programme to make sure we are in the best possible shape to continue delivering high-quality services.

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“By bringing council teams together at the Town Hall and at Castlewood, and sharing our offices with partners, we will realise cost efficiencies within two years.

“We will continue to work hard, as we have been for the past three years, to make sure the council can retain as many jobs as possible and is fit for the future and the challenges that lie ahead.”

As a result of the Castlewood move, North Somerset Council will implement a bus service between Yatton and Clevedon.

Draft proposals show it would run every 30 minutes at peak times and hourly the rest of the day, also taking people into Clevedon town centre.

A service every 15 minutes will also take people from Castlewood to Yatton Railway Station and be designed to connect with trains from Weston and link with Bristol routes.

The council decided to put on the service after a number of its staff said a lack of good transport services from Yatton would put them off using public transport to get to Castlewood.