Issue - meetings

Accommodation Programme

Meeting: 01/06/2020 - Cabinet (Item 12)

12 Accommodation Programme pdf icon PDF 242 KB

(Leader) To consider the attached report (C-002-2020-21).



Additional documents:


Cabinet approved the award of contract to ISG Fit Out Ltd for the sum of £5, 663, 062.00 (excluding VAT) for the refurbishment of the Civic Offices.



The Leader introduced the report on the Accommodation Project seeking to appoint the contractors on the refurbishment and regeneration of the Civic Offices.  This would also pave the way for providing new housing on the adjacent Conder building site.


S Jevans noted that the recent situation with Covid 19 has tested the organisation’s ability to homework and had demonstrated that EFDC had the capacity to work flexibly in a way that was previously unknown.  The refurbishment of the Civic Offices was based on an approach that moved to a reduced ratio of 6:10 fixed desk ratio with additional meeting and collaborative workspaces.  The home working had not been without its challenges and there were still roles/teams that would benefit from the office environment, most importantly the collaborative working spaces.  It was a good time to reflect on the purpose and usage of the Civic Office space and to review the benefits of this refurbishment project for the longer term. 


She noted that the report had listed the benefits of the refurbishment project for the long term. The report also set out how the tender process was taken forward; Gardener and Theobald were the cost consultants commissioned to undertake the tender process for the major works. And their report was annexed to the Cabinet report.


Councillor Philip noted that the key driver would be to have as much money as possible to help support the district. We have a property here that had not had much money spent on it in the last few years as we had been planning to redevelop it. However, if we decided to keep the building then we would have to catch up on this maintenance deficit. Added to this would be making use of the space occupied by the Conder building and making it a significant revenue stream from the redevelopment of this area and making it a good place for people to live. Also, works to the Civic Offices would make it a more flexible place for us to work in and have spaces for new starter businesses.


S Jevans added that there were a number of spaces in the building that could be used for service offices or small businesses and officers were currently speaking to our partners across the district on the benefits of co-location.


Councillor Bedford was pleased that the Council had recognised the new agile working, working with partners, how we were getting better use of the offices and making a community hub at the centre of Epping. He commended the work that was done by Councillor Lion for getting the high-speed broadband set up across the District. This was echoed by the Leader.


Councillor S Kane emphasised the importance of home working, some 400 staff were now doing so, which freed up space for outside partners to come in and build a community hub for the district.


Councillors N Avey and H Whitbread commented that they to were very supportive of this scheme.


Councillor Murray noted that initially 6  ...  view the full minutes text for item 12