Union: office move will lead to service cuts

PUBLISHED: 12:30 26 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:38 25 May 2010

View of Old Town Hall, Walliscote Road, WsM.

View of Old Town Hall, Walliscote Road, WsM. 14-1-09

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UNION leaders have slammed North Somerset Council s impending £14.6million purchase of new offices in Clevedon.

UNION leaders have slammed North Somerset Council's impending £14.6million purchase of new offices in Clevedon.

The unitary authority should not be borrowing cash to buy the former Clerical Medical buildings when it will not invest in jobs and services, Unison says.

Further cuts as a result of the loan are now inevitable, while projected savings may not ever be made, branch secretary Helen Thornton has warned.

Ms Thornton said: "Now is not the time to be borrowing £14million to finance this purchase, when at the same time this council continually demonstrate it is not prepared to make the same sort of investment in services and jobs.

"This decision has effectively made cuts to services inevitable."

The council says it will make savings of approximately £1million over 25 years, but this figure is reliant on other tenants renting space at the site.

The plan could see Weston lose hundreds of jobs, but council leader Nigel Ashton has claimed workers would still be based in several locations in the town, some of which are earmarked for privatisation.

Ms Thornton added: "The council's leader argues that there will still be council workers in Weston, and he gave the examples of the Winter Gardens, Playhouse, Museum, Tourist Information and sports centres.

"He has obviously forgotten the council's plans to sell off these services."

The office relocation scheme was approved by a meeting of the council earlier this month.

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