Council cash office faces closure threat

ADUR Civic Centre’s cash office could close at the end of the year.

A report, being considered by the council’s cabinet member for resources, Angus Dunn, sets a proposed closing date of December 31.

Three people would face redundancy if the recommendation is approved.

The report, by Terry Cutler, finance manager at Adur and Worthing councils, said: “The reduction in customers using the cash offices, together with the closure of the Civic Centre, means the closure of the cash office is the most sensible option.

“Customers and staff need time to deal with this change, and the setting of a firm date for closure will remove uncertainty as to future arrangements.”

The sale of Civic Centre, in Brighton Road, is due to be completed, and the building vacated, by May 2013, and the site is expected to be redeveloped as a supermarket.

Mr Cutler’s report states that of the 100,992 financial transactions between the public and the council last year, only 19,335 were in person.

“The introduction of more payment methods has reduced the footfall in the existing cash offices by approximately 40 per cent.

“The continuation of the cash office in its present form would have needed consideration, even if the Civic Centre was not being sold,” it went on.

Closing the cash office five months before the Civic Centre itself, it said, would manage a staff reduction in a “fair and co-ordinated way”.

“It will give customers plenty of notice to make arrangements to use alternative payment methods, and allow staff sufficient time to plan their future,” it said.

Speaking to the Herald, Mr Cutler said the office employed three people, one full time, and two part time, with one of those having another part-time position within the council.

Three positions would be made redundant, but he added as the back-office functions of the facility would be moving to Worthing, the Adur staff would “not necessarily” be facing the axe.

The closure would save £47,000 a year. Mr Dunn is expected to make a decision by September 21.