Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Facts on Office Move; Views of the North

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Facts on Office Move; Views of the North

Article excerpt

I WOULD like to respond to the criticism of the decision of Cramlington Town Council to purchase the Surveyor House in Cramlington as its new offices.

It's time to present the facts rather than the misinformation and inaccuracies pedalled by Tory councillors Daley, Flux and Collins and their acolytes who have published recent letters.

Just so the people of Cramlington are aware of the true facts, these are: The Town Council have got to move out of our premises in Concordia by the end of the year to allow improvements works to start and we agreed that alternative premises should be located centrally to provide easy access to the public.

Much has been made about disability access by the Tories but they were at the council meeting when I proposed that structural and disability surveys should be carried out first, which they voted against. Strange that later they played the 'disability card' in the full knowledge that purchase would not go ahead unless positive surveys were received.

The Tory Group leader was asked to identify alternative premises which he considered to be more suitable which we would have investigated. Coun Daley did not respond to this request.

The Tory Secretary of State, Eric Pickles MP, granted borrowing approval for funds, at a preferential interest rate, to purchase the property and costs of compliance with disability access and conversion works are built into the loan.

He clearly believes that the purchase is value for money even if local Tories do not. This, by the way, is the same kind of loan that funded the new Cramlington Specialist Emergency Hospital.

There will be no increase in council tax as the costs for the new office can be met from existing budgets.

An extensive search by the Town Clerk in conjunction with the County Council revealed that rental costs for premises elsewhere in Cramlington were prohibitive at over PS40,000 per year considerably more than the cost of purchase of the Surveyors House. …

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