IT was the end of an era when Bury Council’s highways and ground maintenance services were transferred from the town’s Fernhill depot.

Highways staff have been relocated to Bradley Fold depot, joining up with the waste management service, community safety, trans-port workshops and catering and cleaning services.

Grounds maintenance management has moved to an existing depot based at Bury Cemetery.

Bosses say the move is to reduce the number of operational bases the council has and to protect council services.

The transfer is expected to save in the region of £100,000 per year. Cllr Tony Isherwood, Cabinet member for the environment, said: “With records indicating that the council first had a presence at Fernhill in the 1930s, this move does mark the end of an era, but it’s a new beg-inning too.

“We’ve made a range of improvements at Bradley Fold to provide the workforces there with a better working environment and by reducing our overall requirement for depots we’re set to save at least £100,000 per year.

"All in all this move is a positive way forward for the council and its valued workforce. We have also taken on board the comments from local residents via consultation before works commenced at Bradley Fold. It’s a win-win situation.”

Fernhill depot is being sold by the council and the cost of improvements at Bradley Fold and relocating the workforce will be funded from the sale and existing budgets.