Letter - Council offices; A complete waste of money

Harrogate Council building.
Harrogate Council building.

I would like to respond to the letter of April 14 submitted by Richard Cooper, leader of HBC, in response to Peter Lilley. I too do not wish to drawn into dialogue with Richard Cooper.

I agree with the article submitted by Peter Lilley on April 7. The spending of £9 million to create a new office hub specific for the use of HBC is a total waste of rate and tax payers monies.

Undoubtedly those monies, if available, could and should be better spent in other more needy areas. Richard Cooper is probably correct in referring to the new build cost at £9 million, I suspect this is a building contractors bid which has been accepted by HBC for the new build works.

However, HBC and Richard Cooper will ultimately have to defend a final account sum for the new build which will undoubtedly substantially exceed the £9 million is question.

Of course HBC are honourable with the cost savings suggested by Richard Cooper, but he falls short in failing to state that the new building under construction will not and cannot house all of HBC’s departments under one roof, without desk sharing and operating flexitime for the respective officers. The fact is it is already too small.

It is common knowledge HBC planning already operate desk sharing and work some 2.5 days a week.

Does the service thus given suffer? Of course it does and quite obviously the services given by other departments will also suffer in a similar manner.

As with any business, relocation costs in changing headquarter bases are huge.

The Crown Jewels of Council owned property in the meantime, are currently being unnecessarily sold at the earliest opportunity to support the dreams and ambitions of HBC members and councillors.

All of this, at a time when Government UK are suggesting further cuts in the public sector and the obvious financial turmoil which awaits our country in the coming years, makes HBC’s ambitions scandalous.

Andy Butterfield