Ballycastle Sinn Fein councillor Cara McShane has said that she hopes that a new estates strategy for council staff and buildings won’t mean the “death knell” for Sheskburn House.
She was speaking at a meeting of Council’s Policy and Resources Committee during which members were updated on the future of the four legacy civic headquarters in Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady and Ballycastle.
Council officer Stephen McMaw told members: “Elected members now have the opportunity to review the locations for the future delivery of services to ensure the transformation of the new Council over time retains a focus on maximising efficiency, effectiveness and customer service.
Councillors held a workshop to discuss where to situate staff and the following was suggested for non front-line staff:
Ballymoney civic headquarters (Riada House) = 77 staff. Coleraine civic headquarters (Cloonavin) = 185. Limavady civic headquarters (Connell Street) = 41. Ballycastle civic headquarters (Sheskburn House) = 16.
Members were also told: “At the workshop, members expressed the view that on the longer term, retention of the legacy council civic buildings in Ballycastle and Limkavady was not the important issue but rather ensuring there is an adequate staff presence to deliver a local public service to citizens.
“The concept of a one stop shop in a suitable building within each location was discussed as a potential future alternative to the current arrangement.
Cllr Cara McShane said she had concerns that these moves could sound the “death knell” for Sheskburn House in Ballycastle.
“Uncertainty is not good for staff morale,” said Cllr McShane who said that she had been speaking to worried staff recently.
Mr McMaw said he wanted to make it clear that there are no plans to close Sheskburn House.
The findings will now come to full council.