Hucknall councillor brands Nottinghamshire County Council review into plans to spend £28m on new offices as 'farcical'

A Hucknall councillor has labelled Nottinghamshire County Council’s review into plans to spend £28 million on new offices – including a £14.7 million flaghship building in Linby – as a farce.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 1:07 pm

Earlier this year, the council announced plans to build new offices and spruce up others as part its ‘Investment in Nottinghamshire’ programme.

However, after pressure from Independent councillors, who were critical of the proposed cost of the plans, the authority agreed to a review of the proposals.

But Coun Dave Shaw (Ash Ind), who represents Hucknall West, has claimed that he can’t find any evidence of the review and accused the council of not taking its finances seriously enough, adding the current council’s ‘hybrid working strategy’ would just leave expensive offices empty.

Coun Shaw says the money being spent on new offices at Top Wighay Farm would be better spent on repairing roads Photo: Google

He said: “This council is close to £600 million in debt – yet it is continuing to misuse our council tax.

"I have repeatedly asked the Conservatives (who lead the council) to provide any evidence of this review and about this massive amount of council spending.

"They have failed to provide any evidence whatsoever that they are taking any review seriously.

"We don’t know which officers are carrying out this review, how it is being carried out and whether any value for money assessments that are being carried out.

"I put it to the council that this farcical review is being undertaken for one purpose, which is to shut up the Independents at County Hall.”

Outline planning consent for the new offices at Top Wighay Farm has been granted.

But Coun Shaw said the money for this and the rest of the £28 million earmarked for the scheme, would be better invested in fixing broken roads and pavements.

It is expected that a decision will be made on November 2 at a meeting of the council’s economic development and asset management (EDAM) committee.

The council reportedly intends to borrow the money from the Public Works Loans’ Board.

Coun Shaw, a member of EDAM committee added, “I am asking for the council, a council drowning in debt to prove that it is taking this review seriously.

"It is an enormous amount of money – money that could be better spent on things that residents actually want and need.”

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Hucknal councillor accuses Nottinghamshire County Council of 'drowning in debt' ...