Following on from yesterday's post around the Civic Centre library, perhaps it would be good to explain why we decided to go ahead with the Civic Centre project.
The first reason is financial. Although the debts from building the centre cost us about £7 million to service, we actually save £9.5 million in the running costs. This is because we move out of 15 existing buildings (mostly currently rented or in a state of disrepair) into a modern building that will be far cheaper to run. Thus, not going ahead with the Civic Centre would actually have cost us money rather saving it. In other words, we would have to cut Council services by another £2.5 million per year to make the books balance. It is also true of course that, now that the contract has been awarded, we would incur huge penalties if we tried to back out of it.
Secondly, the new building has lots of environmental advantages. In particular, by itself it should reduce the Council's carbon emissions by more than 12%. The waste vegetable oil boiler could also be used ain a district heating system for Wembley at some stage.
Thirdly, the project is a vote of confidence in regeneration in Wembley. As such it supports the redevelopment of the area, and helps to generate jobs for local people.
Finally, the new Civic centre project helps to drive organisational change across the Council, particularly in improving customer contact.