Council saves £971,000 getting rid of surplus office space only to spend £386,000 buying more

Opposition councillors have once again called into question the Council’s £386,000 purchase of Pacific Exchange, the former headquarters of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The purchase has been questioned after figures emerged showing that Government had helped the authority last year to save £971,000 in capital costs through the sale of land and property.

The savings came as part of the One Public Estate programme, under which land and property is released by central and local government to save money and boost regeneration.

The Council’s purchase of Pacific Exchange earlier this year means that 40% of the savings made in the first year were lost.

Opposition Lib Dem Councillor Mike Ross said: “While we welcome the savings made by selling a number of council properties, with the help of the Government, it is then even more astounding that the council chose to buy the Pacific Exchange building when there was no need to do so.”

“This is another example of Labour wasting tax-payers money on pet projects rather than spending it on the services people want.” Mike added. “Spending £386,000 on fancy office space really does need to be called into question at a time when the Labour councillors are talking about closing libraries and swimming pools.  Are they there to provide services or play the property market?”

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