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The report said existing work space is ‘extremely cluttered’; technology is ‘out of date’; there is no heating; toilet facilities need refurbishment; and lighting is ‘poor’.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

Appledore's last night at the proms. Pictures: Graham Hobbs

Hundreds of people packed onto Appledore Quay yesterday (Sunday) for an evening of musical entertainment.

Read more
The fire at South Molton yesterday (Sunday).

Fire fighters were called out to the incident at Holdridge Cross yesterday (Sunday) afternoon.

Read more
The Businesses of Bideford are already planning a spooky Halloween.

The Businesses of Bideford are planning a bumper celebration for Wicked Week this October half term.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:59
Diesel's family and friends with their tribute to him at Ilfracombe Carnival 2016. Picture: Tony Gussin

Costumed mayhem as Ilfracombe celebrates carnival night

Read more
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Boxer cross Harley has plenty of life.

With Dogs Trust Ilfracombe

Read more
Friday, August 26, 2016
Syria fundraiser organisers Jake Slee and Jumoké Fernandez at Bideford's Cafe Onboard venue.

Don’t miss ‘Syria’ at cafe Onboard this Saturday (August 27)

Read more
Friday, August 26, 2016

South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is expecting more than 10,000 calls over the bank holiday weekend.

Read more
Friday, August 26, 2016
Roosting greater horseshoe bats. Picture: John J Kaczanow

Devon Wildlife Trust has teamed up with North Devon AONB for the project.

Read more
Thursday, August 25, 2016
RNLI lifeguards have been busy again in 2011 on North Devon beaches. PIC: RNLI.

RNLI lifeguards had a busy week as they rescued people from rip currents and dealt with several serious medical episodes on Croyde and Woolacombe.

Read more
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Flora Kyte, Ben Price, Ottelie Kuehne, Hannah Munro-O'Brien, Bethany Lee, Emily Yelland and Helena Reed celebrate top results at South Molton Community College. Picture: Matt Smart

Teenagers across the region opened their results today (Thursday), with more exceptional achievements for schools in the area.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 14°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