CLOSING day centres is part of a radical three-year council plan to reduce the number of public buildings in South Tyneside.
The property strategy aims to see major investment in frontline service buildings for residents – with environmental and energy-efficiency improvements funded by the sale of old buildings, which are expensive to run or no longer meet residents’ needs.
The programme is aimed at avoiding carbon reduction penalties and slashing the council’s annual maintenance bill.
Coun Ed Malcolm, the council’s lead member for resources and innovation, said: “This approach means we can avoid spending good money on poor-quality buildings, as well as improving energy efficiency, cutting maintenance costs and improving services – without any increase in spending.”
It also includes a two-year year programme of work to improve South Shields Town Hall, making it possible to accommodate around 500 additional staff, whilst ensuring that it meets modern health and safety requirements.
Many of these staff have been based in other council buildings.