Page last updated at 20:06 GMT, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Clevedon move 'will not see job cuts'

Castlewood, Clevedon
The Clerical Medical site in Clevedon was closed last year

Plans to open a new office in Clevedon will not see jobs lost from North Somerset Council's Weston-super-Mare headquarters, the council has pledged.

The council is to buy the former Clerical Medical building, giving it a new base in the north of the county and reducing the number of smaller offices.

It says it has no intention of abandoning its Weston site, adding it was looking to expand facilities there.

The news was welcomed by the town's Conservative MP, John Penrose.

He had been concerned the move of hundreds of jobs to Clevedon would be at the expense of Weston's economy.

"I'm delighted that the council has given Westonians this jobs pledge... it should help our economy and create even more jobs in the future as well.

"Now we need to hold the council to its promise. I shall be watching very closely to make sure Weston's economy is rebuilt and that local jobs are safeguarded," he added.

'Protect services'

North Somerset Council said the new Clevedon base at Castlewood would allow the authority to close a number of smaller sites it was renting.

Council leader Nigel Ashton said: "This is a one-off opportunity to reduce our overheads and improve services.

"Consolidating our office space will save money and help protect key services however the council's main administrative base will remain in Weston-super-Mare.

"We will be taking the opportunity to re-model the Town Hall so that more staff can be located there than at present.

"As a council we have no intention of abandoning Weston. We want a prosperous Weston and remain committed to an employment-led strategy in the town," he added.

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