Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Museum move for council’s top brass

12:30 30 April 2014

The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon.

The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon.

Archant

North Devon Council hopes to move its ‘corporate centre’ from the civic centre as part of a bigger plan to sever ties with landlord Devon County Council.

The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon.The Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon.

NORTH Devon Council is planning to spend £80,000 renovating, and moving senior officers to new offices in the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon.

The council hopes to move its ‘corporate centre’ from the civic centre as part of a bigger plan to sever ties with landlord Devon County Council.

The majority of staff are expected to be relocated to the council-owned Brynsworthy Environment Centre and Lynton House.

But the council’s executive committee will be asked on Tuesday to approve money to upgrade the Grade II listed museum on the Square and refurbish existing office space for 13 members of Civic Centre staff.

According to a report by the council’s technical services manager, a recent survey highlighted a number of health and safety concerns and the need for ‘urgent’ upgrades.

The report said existing work space is ‘extremely cluttered’; technology is ‘out of date’; there is no heating; toilet facilities need refurbishment; and lighting is ‘poor’.

Some artefacts could be stored off-site possibly at the Old Ice Factory in Fair View.

An inspection carried out by fire officers in February highlighted a catalogue of ‘major issues’, including blocked fire escapes and overloaded plug sockets.

The council argues that the work needs doing, and the new offices would not infringe on the public museum space.

But the plans to relocate staff – including chief executive Mike Mansell – have come in for criticism by shadow leader Des Brailey, who said he felt senior officers should not ‘isolate’ themselves from lower-level colleagues.

Councillor Brailey, who was part of a team of councillors who took part in a fact-finding tour of various Barnstaple locations, including Castle Street and the Guildhall, told the Gazette: “Actually the museum is the pits to be honest with you, and I do understand what they are doing.

“However, it’s not conducive in my view to have the hierarchy going in there.

“I believe if you are the head of something you should not isolate yourself; you should be where your staff are.

“If you want to speak to the chief exec about something, you should be able to pop along the corridor to see him.”

Other News Stories

Pupils at St Helen’s school in Abbotsham have been learning about road safety in the Honest Truth campaign with police and the fire service.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:00

Plans are going on show tomorrow (Saturday) for new holiday units at Knapp House in Northam.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:35

Can you top Kevin’s Christmas lights spectacular?

Read more
Yesterday, 15:53

Outline plans show access road to new development will run through ‘enhanced’ play area

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

Motions to pause reviews which could jeopardise services at North Devon District Hospital and to ensure fair funding for services were unanimously passed at County Hall on Thursday.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:23

This year New Year’s Eve revellers in Bideford can expect to celebrate music through the decades on December 31.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:16

The singer-songwriter wrote a touching tribute to Mr Collins, who died on Saturday

Read more
Yesterday, 08:56

Bideford’s brand new Starbucks coffee shop is opening at Atlantic Park in Clovelly Road on Monday.

Read more
Thu, 15:09

Readers have been expressing both joy and frustration at Roundswell plans which include a new Costa Coffee, Aldi and Marston’s pub.

Read more
Thu, 14:57

The brand new store in Clovelly Road has created 40 new jobs in Bideford.

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications