Without ‘jumping the gun’, here at onlineFOCUS, we have learned that Rochford District Councils Investment Board is eying up the opportunity to dispose of Council assets such as the Civic Suite in Rayleigh and move the Council’s main chamber to Rochford. Having employed external consultants (again!), the Conservatives have also formed a working party comprising of Cllrs D S Efde, G J Ioannou, M J Lucas-Gill, D J Sperring, and A L Williams
In their report to the Investment Board, the usage of the Civic Suite is possibly residential or ‘alternative use’ – whatever that means!
Further to the resolution of the Investment Board on 12 September 2018, officers have convened workshops with the Member Working Party to recommend approval of the Asset Delivery Programme’s Strategic Outline Case (SOC) to the Investment Board and to progress the work of the Outline Business Case (OBC).
It feels like the Conservatives are getting itchy figures with the £9,000,000 in reserves and lack of progress with many of projects that have previously come before the Investment Board. They now could have an opportunity to spend some of the public money.
We think, this possibly has a huge potential for a backlash. In Basildon, the Labour-led Council spent vast sums of money on new facilities for the Council, which may have contributed to their downfall in the 2018 elections with controlling power returning to the Conservatives. The report does, however, make mention of the communication strategy to key stakeholders…
A communication strategy is being developed to capture stakeholder engagement and key messages. The Member Working Party will be an integral part of making that happen.
It should be noted that this project is still in the ‘Outline Business Case’ stage. We’ll keep our eye on any developments as they come to view.