Council office move 'lunacy' - Lib Dem

PUBLISHED: 16:00 04 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:30 25 May 2010

A 'LUNATIC' scheme to rip 762 jobs out of Weston has been slammed by an aspiring town politician.

A 'LUNATIC' scheme to rip 762 jobs out of Weston has been slammed by an aspiring town politician.

Liberal Democrat Mike Bell has hit out at his Tory opponents on North Somerset Council for their £16million plan to close offices in the resort.

The party's prospective parliamentary candidate for Weston says the council would save only a tiny fraction of its budget by moving the staff to Clevedon.

He said: "The dogmatic way that ruling Conservatives are desperately clinging onto this £16 million plan in the face of all sense and reason proves that the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

"They pretend that jobs will not be lost in Weston - and yet their finance plan depends on selling off or closing offices where 762 town centre workers are based."

The unitary authority's executive, which has only one Weston-based member, has been criticised for keeping the plan a secret and refusing to confirm details of the number of jobs Weston will lose.

North Somerset Council is tomorrow (Tuesday) due to vote on the move, but the finer details of the plan remain shrouded in secrecy .

Mr Bell said: "The sums just don't add up.

"The council is deliberately concealing how many jobs will be lost.

"They is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of everyone from the MP to the residents of our town.

"They must not get away with it.

"Weston Conservative councillors must stand up for their community and do what they were elected to do - fight for us all."

Eight council buildings in Weston will be closed if the plan goes ahead, with workers being moved to the former Clerical Medical building in Tickenham Road.

Mr Bell says the plan would provide a saving of £64,000 per year, which equates to just 0.05 per cent of the unitary authority's budget.

The council says the move will make a saving of more than £1million by 2013/14, but that is reliant on income from having tenants in the new office.

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