Hucknall councillor again blasts £28 million plans for new Nottinghamshire County Council offices

A Hucknall councillor has again slammed Nottinghamshire County Council’s proposed £28 million plans for new offices.

The plans include a flagship £14.7 million office block at the Top Wighay Farm development, near Linby, for which outline planning consent has been granted.

But Coun David Shaw (Ash Ind), who represents Hucknall West, said the money for that and the other two proposed new office developments in the plan, would be far better spent repairing the county’s roads.

In July, the council said the plans would be reviewed.

The County Council wants to build £14.7m new offices at Top Wighay Farm at Linby

Speaking at a meeting of the council’s policy committee, Coun Shaw said: “I’ve suggested that this money is invested in fixing broken roads and pavements in towns like Hucknall and across the Ashfield district.

"Nottinghamshire is the worst place in the whole country for pot-holes yet this council wants to borrow £28 million to build and spruce up council offices we patently don’t need.

"After the Independent councillors put pressure on the Conservatives in July, they agreed to a review but won’t tell us about what form this will take and who is undertaking it?

"I hope they are not keeping their heads down and hope that our concerns fade away – they won’t.

"The £14.7million for Top Wighay Farm should be invested on our broken highways and not plush office blocks that we don’t need.”

If the scheme gets the go-ahead, the council intends to borrow the money through ‘prudential borrowing’ which will push the total debt of the council past £0.5bn mark.

Responding during the meeting, Coun Keith Girling (Con), chairman of the economic development and asset management (EDAM) committee, said: “We’re doing the review because we understand people might not want to go back to how it was before Covid.

“We’re looking at how we’re doing the hybrid system.

"I think right now officers are finding out what the responses are to this, and when this is back, we can look at what estate we actually need to function as a council.

“But we have got to look not just for now, but 25 years into the future.

“There’s a finger in the air about it and it’s not going to be precise.

"But it’s going to be as accurate as we can get it, to make sure the staff who work for this council can function properly, and in appropriate accommodation.

“We expect there to be more to update in time for the EDAM committee, due on November 2.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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