Councillors’ offices handed over

The work has been carried out on the top floor of Midlothian House, the main office for Midlothian Council, Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith.
The work has been carried out on the top floor of Midlothian House, the main office for Midlothian Council, Buccleuch Street, Dalkeith.

Office space for elected members has been changed and will be used by staff to save money and make better use of Midlothian Council buildings.

The £122,000 refurbishment means officers based at Jarnac Court in Dalkeith will be moved into Midlothian House in the coming months. Jarnac, which costs £68,000 a year to run and is in a poor state of repair, will close.

The council leader, Councillor Derek Milligan (Lab) said: “We’re facing a budget shortfall this year alone of £13.5 million, estimated to rise to over £44m by 2012/22. We need to make every penny count.

“Part of our Change Programme proposals is making the best possible use of council buildings. We felt that it was important that this applied to councillors just as much as everyone else.

“The cost of carrying out the work will be paid back within the first couple of years. We will be saving £68,000 every a year thereafter by moving out of Jarnac Court which is pretty run down and ultimately, that building will then become part of the Dalkeith town centre regeneration scheme proposals.”

The refurbishment is part of the council’s Effective Working In Midlothian strategy to rationalise the council estate. Last year, staff moved from the Dundas Buildings in Bonnyrigg into Midlothian House. Plans are currently being looked at for the future use of this building.