Shropshire

Shropshire Council staff move cost released

Shirehall
Image caption The move into the west wing was announced in December 2010

Shropshire Council has spent £96,000 to relocate its management team into new offices within its headquarters.

The figures were released after a freedom of information (FOI) request to the Conservative-led authority.

The council said moving the chief executive and his team made more efficient use of space and allowed for better team work.

The move has been criticised by trade union Unison which is fighting plans to cut staff pay.

The cost includes more than £19,000 on new desks, screens and pedestals, over £9,000 on seating and £1,480 on moving furniture to the new office.

The move into the west wing of Shirehall, in Shrewsbury, was announced in December 2010.

The costs cover 20 people - the senior management team and their support staff.

'Very disappointed'

Rick Tudor, regional organiser for Unison in Shropshire, said the union believed the cost was higher than the figure the council had given.

He said: "At the time staff were relocated from all over the place. We think the move cost a lot more than £96,000."

He added: "We're very disappointed at a time when the council claims it has to dismiss people and re-employ them on worse terms and conditions that it would spend money on refurbishment.

"People already had fairly adequate offices. It was a time when the council was already telling us they had to make budget savings."

In a statement responding to the FOI request the council said: "The chief executive and each of his corporate directors gave up large personal offices, and the outer offices occupied by their personal support staff, in order to move into a shared, open-plan office, where each of them occupies less space than before."

It added this had released the offices for use by other council staff.

It said as well as making better use of space, the move was a "more efficient" way of working by bringing the senior management team and their support staff together in one place.

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