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We don't need a new £10m Council building in North Down & Ards

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Gavin StandingWe've seen how the building of unnecessary new council buildings can become expensive White Elephants that we as ratepayers have to underwrite for many, many years.

In Newtownabbey a £12million new Council building is unnecessary. And in Antrim the £7 million Council building is a financial burden for the people of the area.

And already we have had many calls for a new Council buildings for the North Down & Ards Council even while we have two excellent facilities in Newtownards and Bangor.

Over the coming months we'll hear lots of reasons why we need a brand new building. Some people have already suggested the mad idea of building it on Queen's Parade site. But I don't think we need one at all and I will fight against one being built to protect your rates with every opportunity I have.

So here's my plan.

Locate the main Council office in either of the existing  Newtownards or Bangor Town Halls. This office should contain the Executive Officers and the Council chamber.

Move the remainder of the administration departments into already existing buildings across the District. So, for example, by bringing the Department of the Environmental Health or Finance and Administration to Donaghadee, we could:

  1. Create new well-paid jobs in Donaghadee.
  2. Increase footfall to Donaghadee shops and restaurants.
  3. Prevent the new Council from agreeing on a white elephant of an expensive and unnecessary Council building that we as rate payers would have to pay for.

The same could be done for Comber, Holywood and possibly other towns in the District. With the installation of modern technology, there is no need for all Council administration departments to be in one central place and it could save us upwards of £10 million.

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