Services are about back to normal after the fire in mid-january that destroyed the council offices.
The problem is office space. Only about half the staff have space to work inside Abbey House, and the rest are still working from home.
New temporary offices are expected by about the end of May, and that’s looking like it will be in Milton Park off the A34 at Didcot. It’s not finalised yet though.
Once staff have a place to work and all services are back up and running as (fairly) normal (and not from corridors and meeting rooms!), then the discuission begins about what to do in the long term.
Planning website is up and running. although some decisions were dealyed a couple of wek,s things are progressing now OK.
This is the latest message from the Vale website, 26 Jan 2015, re: planning
- We’re currently predicting a fortnight’s delay in deciding planning applications.
- If you need to apply for planning permission, it would be a great help if you could delay submitting it for a couple of weeks, so we can deal with urgent issues.
- We are extending the deadline for comments on planning applications by eight days, which was the length of time our systems was down for.
- You can now view and comment on planning applications online. It will take our planning officers a few weeks to get back up to speed with the applications, so please hold off ringing about your application until the end of next week unless it’s urgent.
- All planning applications and comments we received either by post or online on Tuesday 13 January and after were definitely lost in the fire. Please resend your application or comment.
- It’s not yet clear if we still have applications that we received on Monday 13 January, so please stand by for an update.
- If any of this will cause you a major problem, please call 01235 540546.
Here’s the latest on the fire at Council offices yesterday. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-30845487
I was at Abbey House today, and the business continuity plans are working well. IT and phones are the first priorities, and IT may be back up as early as today (Friday). I’d expect websites to be back up by next week. (But we need to be patient, of course.)