One-stop council shop on course for Wakefield

15th November 2011'Pictures of the New Wakefield one building.''PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE
15th November 2011'Pictures of the New Wakefield one building.''PICTURE: MATTHEW PAGE

A NEW one-stop shop will give people face-to-face contact with Wakefield Council.

Wakefield One will provide customers with access to services ranging from benefits and tax to planning when it opens at Merchant Gate in September next year.

Wakefield Museum and the Drury Lane and Balne Lane libraries will all move into the new building, which has been paid for through the selling of other council sites.

Council bosses say they will save about £1m a year on the running of services when they are centralised into Wakefield One.

The building will include a business lounge where businesses can get advice and information on start ups, expansion, or planning issues.

Coun Graham Stokes, cabinet member for corporate performance, said: “Wakefield One is a success on two levels. Not only will it provide an improved service, but it will also save money.

“In these tough financial times, providing more for less is not easy, but we’re on target to achieve this.”

Council chief executive Joanne Roney said: “I’m really pleased that the building will be completed on time. Once open, it will provide residents and businesses with better, faster, and more simplified services in one place.”

An Express reader named the building in a competition run through the paper. It was originally going to be the name of the city’s new swimming pool, but that will now be called Sun Lane Leisure.

The museum will move from Wood Street next Saturday, with part of the collection available for viewing in Drury Lane Library until the opening of Wakefield One.

Balne Library will close in January 2012 with key services being moved to a temporary home in Drury Lane Library until the opening of Wakefield One.