Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Dame Mary opens new service hub named in her honour

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

A new 'public service hub' in north Hampshire has been officially opened and named in honour of the Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan DCVO JP.

The Hampshire County Council office building in Chineham Court, Basingstoke, which used to be called 'Vertex', has been named 'Dame Mary Fagan House'.

Dame Mary, who retires in September, officially opened the building by unveiling a plaque. Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said: "Dame Mary Fagan was appointed as Lord-Lieutenant in 1994, and serves as Her Majesty's representative in the county. As President/Patron of over 60 organisations in Hampshire, and maintaining a keen interest in all aspects of life in the county, including education, the local economy, armed forces, and voluntary and charitable groups, the naming of Dame Mary Fagan House will serve as a long-standing reminder of the significant commitment to public service made by the Lord Lieutenant during her 20 years of tenure."

As part of work to transform the way the County Council operates, to continue to provide high-quality services at low cost, with council tax one of the lowest in the country - around 400 members of staff delivering services for adults and children, such as social care and education, are now working from the one site. In addition, Dame Mary Fagan House brings together the Integrated Learning Disability Team (a joint service between the County Council and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust) under one roof, as well as voluntary sector organisations, who are also based in the building.

In creating this new hub, it has allowed staff to move from smaller offices in the town, therefore saving thousands of pounds in running costs and allowing resources to be re-invested into front-line services. This approach forms part of the County Council's wider 'Workstyle' programme, which aims to cut running costs by a quarter, cut floor space by over a third, and deliver £2 million in annual revenue savings.

Councillor Perry added: "As well as commemorating the Lord-Lieutenant's two decades in office in Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan House also marks a milestone for the County Council in a number of ways. Staff on the site provide services to some of the most vulnerable families in Hampshire, and have remarked how important it is for their work to be able to share office accommodation with colleagues from other organisations, and work together to deliver the best outcomes for residents. All of this, while saving £400,000 a year in building running costs."

The sale of vacated office buildings throughout Hampshire has already generated around £15 million in capital receipts, and this being reinvested into projects such as new and improved school buildings, enhanced care facilities and the transformation of Hampshire's country parks.

For more information about accessing services in Basingstoke, please contact the service you are interested in.

The naming ceremony took place on Thursday 24 April 2014.

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