BROMSGROVE District Council’s move to Parkside has been slammed as ‘disastrous’ by councillors who are demanding an apology from the leader ‘for wasting taxpayers’ money.’
Councillors Michael Thompson and Peter McDonald said the new premises failed to make the savings promised because it cost more to heat than the previous Burcot Lane Council House.
Both councillors are on the audit committee and say they have compared the heating bills of the old and new council houses over a four-month period – which reveal ‘there is no significant saving with both bills totalling about £24,000’.
They said this did not include the running cost of a ‘inadequate’ industrial heating system which was ‘neither an efficient, nor an environmentally sound way to heat a multi-million pound flagship government building.’
Councillors Thompson and McDonald said this cost an estimated £50 per day on top of the normal heating bill – paid for by the tax-funded Place Partnership.
They also claimed there was money left to replace the floor ‘which was falling apart’ with caretakers being asked to fill breakages rather than replace tiles.
Coun Thompson said: “The council house is not fit for purpose, the costly move here has been a major factor contributing to tax rises in the area and is the opposite of what we were promised from the Tory Council.
“This catastrophic move is a resigning matter for the leader of the council.”
Coun Geoff Denaro said: “Current estimates from the utility companies clearly show Parkside is cheaper to run. And it is of course far, far cheaper for the public purse than having a separate Council House as we now have the library, register office and Job Centre services under the same roof.
“No one’s happy with the teething problems from bringing the old building back into use.
“But pointing at a wobbly floor tile badly misses the bigger picture, of the massive savings and widespread regeneration of the town centre that our Parkside move has unlocked.”