Council vote on Clevedon move tonight

PUBLISHED: 08:01 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:34 25 May 2010

Penrose: 'postpone decision'

Penrose: 'postpone decision'

THE fate of hundreds of Weston local government jobs will be sealed at a Town Hall meeting tonight (Thurs).

THE fate of hundreds of Weston local government jobs will be sealed at a Town Hall meeting tonight (Thurs).

North Somerset councillors will vote on the proposed £14.6million purchase of the former Clerical Medical building in Clevedon.

Approving it would see the closure of Weston offices that accommodate 762 workers, but the unitary authority says it does not know how many staff would be moved.

Weston's MP John Penrose has joined calls from prominent town figures to delay the decision until more information is known.

He said: "The council needs to take more time to explain its plans to local people, and postpone tonight's vote so everyone can consider all the possible options properly.

"At the moment, many local residents are feeling left in the dark.

"If the council's case is truly solid, then they've got nothing to fear from explaining it fully."

He added that the move could divide Weston from the rest of the district and throttle its 'economic rebirth'.

Weston Town Council has already voted in favour of a motion to delay the decision, while the chamber of trade and commerce and members of the business community have come out against the move.

The plan to move to the Tickenham Road building has already been approved by the unitary authority's Tory executive.

They say it will save the council £64,000 per year over the next 25 years and provide a better service to the north of the district.

But for it to go ahead, a majority of the 61 councillors, 46 of whom are Conservatives, will have to give their backing.

If the 18 Weston Conservative members joined the 15 opposition councillors in voting against the plan, the motion would be overturned.

The meeting will begin at Weston Town Hall at 6pm.

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