Council ‘not selling off the family silver’

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A COUNCIL chief has denied “selling off the family silver” as the authority looks towards shedding more assets.

One of the key cost-saving measures being pursued by the council is asset management, in particular, the sale of buildings deemed “surplus to requirement”.

Now Coun Ed Malcolm, the council’s lead member for resources and innovation, has revealed two further buildings the authority is planning to lose from its portfolio.

One is in Charlotte Terrace, South Shields, the base for adult social care management.

The council is looking to exercise a break clause in the lease in 2016. It fits in with a rationalisation plan to leave leased property and put staff in “fewer, better buildings”.

The second target is council-owned Commercial House in South Shields.

It previously housed the youth offending service, but staff were moved to Gordon House to be with other children’s services.

The building will be demolished and the land held for wider regeneration of the riverside.

Coun Malcolm said: “There are a number of buildings that we simply don’t need.

“It’s not a question of selling off the family silver.”