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056/2013 – Decision to change the office location of the Police and Crime Commissioner – 15 July 2013

Executive Summary and recommendation:

The Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Executive Officer have prepared a Change Proposal to establish an office for the Police and Crime Commissioner in an easily accessible location.

Following a period of consultation this decision notice sets out the intention to relocate the Office of
the Police and Crime Commissioner from the current location at Melmerby to much more suitable premises in Harrogate.

This development will allow the Commissioner to provide a much more accessible service to members of the public, partners and other stakeholders. The costs are covered within the existing budget.

The move will facilitate the Commissioner delivering specific elements of her role such as:

  • Holding the Chief Constable to account
  • Public engagement
  • Partnership engagement

Police and Crime Commissioner decision:


Signature Date 15 July 2013
Title Police & Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire

Part 1 – Unrestricted facts and advice to the PCC

Introduction and background

Initially the Commissioner has been working from the former Police Authority offices located at Melmerby. However, the Commissioner is very aware of the remote location of these office which are inaccessible for anyone who relies on public transport. In order to effectively represent the communities of North Yorkshire and provide a service to the public the Commissioner wishes to locate herself and her staff somewhere that would be possible for members of the general public to visit her easily, and via public transport.

The Commissioner also wishes to maintain independence and locate the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner in a neutral location in order to effectively discharge her responsibilities.
Engagement with the community is at the heart of this proposal. The new office provides adequate and suitable space to meet with the public and partners, and for the Commissioner and her staff to provide a better service for residents of North Yorkshire.

After considering a range of options, and while it is difficult to find one convenient location for all of North Yorkshire residents, Harrogate has been identified as the preferred location. This is because it is reasonably centrally located within the county, is the second largest centre of population and is easily accessible via the road network and public transport.

The Commissioner and Chief Constable have established a collaborative approach to best meet the needs of the public and ensure efficiency. However, as part of the Commissioner’s role is to ‘hold the Chief Constable to account’ it is deemed appropriate that the Commissioner demonstrates independence and distinction from the police service. This separate office location provides this distinction and separation for members of the public.

The Commissioner has also selected a location so that it can also facilitate co-location of other teams that can assist and support in dealing with issues raised by the public and achieve the outcomes of the Police and Crime Plan.

Matters for consideration

Consideration has been given to the set up of the new facilities at Harrogate. This includes IT, telephone and network provision, building security and access and furniture requirements.
The new facilities will be connected to the OPCCs current independent IT network. Work will be undertaken to link the NYP network so that people needing to connect to NYP systems will have access. This also means that the connectivity will be in place for when other teams occupy the remainder of the premises. Wi-Fi will need to be provided by existing IT supplier.

The existing telephony system will be transferred to the new office. This is separate and distinct from the operational police service emergency number and 101.

Suitable existing furniture and computer equipment will be transferred and use will be made of furniture provided by the landlord of the premises. A small cost will be incurred to provide new chairs and furniture for a consultation room suitable for meetings with the public.

Costs associated with the relocation from Melmerby to Harrogate can be seen in Appendix 1.
Security and access arrangements have been considered and a further assessment of information and physical security will be undertaken prior to occupation.

It is proposed that the occupancy of 12 Granby Road will commence on 20th July 2013.

Melmerby Harrogate
Will accommodate additional other partner teams No Yes
Accessibility for members of the public No Yes
Good public transport links No Yes
No Yes
Consultation/meeting space for the Commissioner to meet with the public in private No Yes
Fit for purpose No Yes
Flexible working environment that can support partnership working No Yes

Other options considered, if any

A range of alternative options regarding relocation of the Commissioner’s office have been considered, including the option of remaining in the current Melmerby premises, however it has been decided that the Granby Road premises in Harrogate are the most accessible, functional and offer best value for money overall.

The current property, as explained above, does not allow the Commissioner to fulfil her various public functions for many reasons. Several other buildings were considered in Harrogate, both in the town centre and further toward the outskirts. All other buildings were rejected on the basis of all or some of the following reasons:

  • excessive rental costs in Harrogate town centre
  • lack of parking for staff and visitors
  • unsuitable office accommodation
  • not easily accessible by public transport
  • could not fulfil necessary security concerns

Contribution to Police and Crime Plan outcomes

This proposal will contribute to the Police and Crime Plan Goal 2 (Put People First) by adopting a people focussed approach and improving the opportunities for engagement and Goal 4 (Fit for the Future) by ensuring that we have ‘fit for purpose’ property assets and improved facilities to deliver an accessible, cost effective and responsive service which meets the needs of our communities.

Consultations carried out

The OPCC Change Proposal has been shared and has been subject to internal consultation with staff and Union representatives. Part of this proposal was to relocate the OPCC to Harrogate.

Financial Implications/Value for money

The costs for the proposed accommodation at Harrogate and the costs for the previous site at Melmerby are detailed below.

Granby Rd, Harrogate

Central location, within easy walking distance of the town centre, accessible by bus route and rail network. The premises offer a reception area, an open plan office, private office space, meeting room and conference room.

Total area 2,171 sq ft (approx) rental cost £26052
PCC occupancy 1,197 sq ft (approx) rental cost £14364

Barker Business Park, Melmerby

Industrial site location, not accessible by public transport. Premises offer two open plan offices, one meeting room, no client meeting facilities.

1,658 sq ft (approx) rental cost £13,944

The cost increase per square foot in rent is attributed to Harrogate and its locality being able to demand higher rates than those currently being charged at Melmerby. The landlord for 12 Granby Road, Harrogate has agreed the first floor of the property will be at nil charge for the first year. The occupancy of this has not yet been confirmed. Please note the Commissioner will only be leasing the back part of the building: downstairs suites 5 to 7, and upstairs suites 8 to 11.

The associated costs of being located in Harrogate, such as service charges, insurance, utility bills and cleaning costs pro rata, are estimated to be higher than is currently been paid for Melmerby based on current rates.

The proposed new accommodation at Harrogate will however result in greater efficiencies, improved accessibility, infrastructure and increased opportunity for the Commissioner to effectively engage with the communities and partners.

Legal Implications

The new Lease agreement to be approved and the existing Lease agreement to be terminated.

Having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, the Deputy Force Solicitor is satisfied that this report does not ask the PCC for North Yorkshire to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law.

Equality Implications

There are no equalities implications arising from this proposal.

Appendix: Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner – Costs Matrix

The total budget for the Police and Crime Commissioner 2013/14 is £946k. This compares with £1,080k of the North Yorkshire Police Authority. The running costs below are accommodated within the £946k. The one off costs are accommodated within the existing plant and equipment rolling programme budget.

Cost comparison for running of premises:

Melmerby Industrial estate Harrogate OPCC Harrogate Full site
Lease costs 13,944 14,364.00 26,052.00
Service charges (estimate Melmerby based on increased occupancy) 4,061.12 Including utilities 3,591.00 6,513.00*
Contract charges (L8, etc) IncSC 4,136 7,520*
Utilities (estimated) 2,591.00 4,700.00
Insurance 150 467.10 849.28*
Rates 4,712.40 TBC TBC*
CCtv 258.48 IncSC IncSC
Total £18,413.60 (excluding rates) £25,149 (excluding rates) £45,634.28

In the short term until the first floor is occupied these costs will be met by OPCC, although apportioned per sq ft of space thereafter as above

One off costs associated with office move to Harrogate:

Activity/item cost
Costs associated with withdrawal from Melmerby accommodation (estimate) 3,500.00
Estimated furniture costs 3,000.00
Fixtures and fittings for new office accommodation (estimate) 300.00
Costs of re-locating telephony 1,847.00
Costs of re-locating IT connectivity 671.60
Move of IT equipment 290.00
Costs of works to building 1,300.00
Signage (estimate) 250.00
Landlord Solicitors fee 1,000.00
Redirection of mail (estimated) 350.00
Total 12,508.60

Originating Officer Declaration – Author name: William Naylor, Collar number: 001313

Tick to confirm statement √
Director/Chief Officer has reviewed the request and is satisfied that it is correct and consistent with the NYPCC’s plans and priorities.
Legal Advice Legal advice has been sought on this proposal and is considered not to expose the PCC to risk of legal challenge. Jane Wintermeyer 003840 150713
Financial Advice The CC CFO has both been consulted on this proposal, for which budgetary provision already exists or is to be made in accordance with Part 1 or Part 2 of this Notice G. Macdonald 005299 15/7/13
Equalities Advice An assessment has been made of the equality impact of this proposal. Either there is considered to be minimal impact or the impact is outlined in Part1 or Part2 of this Notice. Will Naylor 150713
I confirm that all the above advice has been sought and received and I am satisfied that this is an appropriate request to be submitted for a decision William Naylor Date 15 July 2013
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