Search

New Camden Council HQ set to open this week will ‘transform residents’ experience’

10:41 02 July 2014

The new Camden Council headquarters at 5 Pancras Square. Picture: John Sturrock

The new Camden Council headquarters at 5 Pancras Square. Picture: John Sturrock

John Sturrock

Camden’s finance chief has pledged the council’s new £123million headquarters - set to open to employees this week - will “transform the experience of Camden residents”.

"The amount of paperwork held by Camden Council will go down from 22km to 2.1km as we computerise many things"

Cllr Theo Blackwell

On Friday, the first council employees are due to transfer to the authority’s new building at 5 Pancras Square, in King’s Cross, as part of an eight-week move due to be completed on August 24.

The new building, which has successfully met the completion deadline set when construction began in early 2012, offers a host of community facilities, in addition to office space for 2,400 staff.

This includes two swimming pools, a gym, a cafe, a public library and a customer access centre, all of which are due to open officially on July 19.

Last Wednesday, Cllr Theo Blackwell, cabinet member for finance and technology policy, told the council’s cabinet: “These are lofty goals done in austere times but I truly believe that we are setting ourselves on a path where we can transform the experience of Camden residents.”

In 2012, the planned sale of eight ageing council office buildings had been projected to raise £85m towards the cost of the new HQ, with a £38m loan required to cover the full costs.

But at last week’s cabinet meeting, it was revealed the council had exceeded the projected sale receipts for its former offices - raising £138m in total.

This has allowed the council to pay off the £38m loan in full, leaving it with a £14m cash windfall.

Cllr Blackwell said bringing all the council’s employees under one roof and moving to a digital model would bring savings over time.

“The amount of paperwork held by Camden Council will go down from 22km to 2.1km as we computerise many things,” said Cllr Blackwell.

“That’s a bit of a paperclip shuffler’s achievement there, but I think that’s symbolic of the way the council will work.”

He added: “There is room for 2,400 employees but 1,500 desks so we will be moving much more to an open digital environment for staff common to many private sector organisations.

“I think we will be able to do business on behalf of Camden residents much better through this.”

Camden Conservative leader Cllr Claire-Louise Leyland, who attended the cabinet meeting, said it was “remarkable” that the building project had “unfolded as smoothly as it has”.

She said: “It would also be remiss of me not to mention that this has flowed through several administrations and I know that there are previous leaders from several parties who would be very pleased to be acknowledged for their role in that.”

Latest News Stories

Lynne Featherstone celebrates the release of her book Equal Ever After outoside the House of Lords. Photo: Polly Hancock

Lynne Featherstone, former MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, didn’t waste much time after losing her seat in the Lib Dem cull of last year’s general election.

08:00
The Queen Mother opening the hospice

It is a national charity which traces its roots to Hampstead – and now it is appealing for new recruits in its hospice.

Yesterday, 20:38
Crouch End neighbourhood forum members Dave Winskill, Sally Mustoe & Mark Afford

Yesterday, 18:29
Headteacher John Dowd spoke at the tribunal. Picture: Nigel Sutton

An employment tribunal has today rejected a former teaching assistant’s claims that she was discriminated against because of her disability.

Yesterday, 17:42
James Flanagan was jailed for the assault

A Kentish Town man has been jailed for a “sustained, cowardly and vicious” attack which left a top sports journalist in a coma.

Yesterday, 15:39
The proposed strike has been called off Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A 48-hour Tube strike due to start tomorrow evening has been called off.

Yesterday, 15:31
Andy Sykes claims he saw a ghost in the early hours of the morning on Parliament Hill

A man claims to have had a ghostly encounter with a Victorian-style spectre on Hampstead Heath.

Yesterday, 14:56
Foodbank volunteers packing food for hungry residents. Picture: David Jones

A foodbank centre may be forced to close, after losing support from charity the Trussell Trust

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe