A NEW office in Basingstoke has been officially opened and named in honour of the Lord-Lieuten-ant of Hampshire.

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

Dame Mary, who retires from her role in September, officially opened the building by unveiling a plaque.

Councillor Roy Perry, leader of Hampshire County Council, 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.”

The office was opened as part of the council’s work to transform the way it operates. Around 400 members of staff delivering services for adults and children are now working from the one site.

Dame Mary Fagan House also brings together the Integrated Learning Disability Team – a joint service between the council and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust – under one roof, as well as voluntary sector organisations, which are also based in the building.

The new hub has allowed staff to move from smaller offices in the town, saving thousands of pounds in running costs and allowing resources to be re-invested into frontline services.

The approach forms part of the council’s Work-style programme, which aims to cut running costs by a quarter, cut floor space by over a third, and deliver £2million in annual revenue savings.

Cllr Perry said: “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 £15m in capital receipts, which is being reinvested into projects such as new and improved school buildings, enhanced care facilities and the transformation of Hampshire’s country parks.