Cash-strapped County Council slammed for spending tens of thousands refurbishing offices - The Rugby Observer

Cash-strapped County Council slammed for spending tens of thousands refurbishing offices

COST-CUTTING Warwickshire County Council has been slammed for spending tens of thousands of pounds refurbishing council offices at Shire Hall.

Over £21,000 was spent on changes made to three offices over the past three years at its headquarters in Warwick – including that of Izzi Seccombe, leader of the Conservative-controlled council.

The total included £13,770 on furniture, and a further £7,500 on an asbestos survey, and removals and fittings.

Warwick Labour councillor John Holland hit out at the costly refurbishment, which follows the authority having to make savings of £100million since 2010, and having just agreed a council tax hike of nearly five per cent.

He said: “It’s very, very bad. Children’s centres have had funding withdrawn and now children born in deprived families are trapped and families unable to improve their living condition.

“Social mobility is at its worst and Warwick district has more rough sleepers than any West Midlands county.

“Public funds should be focused on people who need them, particularly the oldest and youngest in our community.”

He also pointed out drastic cuts to social care and to the NHS as part of the Sustainability and Transformation Plan, meant services would lose some £400million.

But the council defended the revamp saying the works were beneficial to the county and its residents.

A spokesperson told The Observer: “The leader’s office is the council venue for high level meetings with government officials, businesses, and key influencers.

“Warwickshire attracts significant investment from various sectors which benefit the entire county and our residents. Clearly it is important that the county council presents itself as a credible partner and our meeting spaces need to reflect this.”

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