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Sussex Council “starting to resemble Fawlty Towers” says West Sussex Labour as £24K aborted office move costs revealed

£24,000, that is the amount of money revealed to have been spent by Sussex County Council for an office move – except it never took place.

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Labour Group Leader Michael Jones is outraged by the wasted money.

The revelations have been brought to light by a Freedom of Information request.

In response to the request West Sussex County Council has admitted the exhorbitant costs involved in the office move of the Chief Executive and other senior officers that commenced in September 2019.

There was to be a move of senior management into the 1st floor west wing of County Hall, but this has now been cancelled. 

Instead the area has now been turned into a hot desking area to increase capacity on campus, despite no evidence being given to councillors that there was a demand for such an additional area, claims Labour Councillors.

The revelations show that the cost of the work undertaken to date has been £24,346.54 (£7,184.54 in consultancy fees and £17,162 in building costs).

Labour Group Leader on West Sussex County Council Michael Jones (Southgate and Gossops Green) said:

“This council is starting to resemble Fawlty Towers, with the number of inept decisions which keep coming to light.

These were perfectly good offices that didn’t need any work whatsoever done on them.  Yet another outrageous failure by West Sussex County Council, the ultimate example of an organisation that is penny wise and pound foolish!

“This is all money that could have been spent on front line public services, like keeping our mobile library service running, instead of getting rid of it, as they plan to.

“How on earth does it cost that much to remove some partition walling and what did it take over seven thousand pounds’ worth of consultants to work out how to do it? 

“This sort of example of the Tories wasting council taxpayers’ money is something that residents will find immensely annoying.  Added to the recent news about the West Sussex drone that has never been used, this is yet another case of mismanagement at the heart of County Hall.”

West Sussex Council has been approached for comment.

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WARNING: From Monday 18th Nov Tushmore Roundabout Roadworks begin for 7 WEEKS!

The work is being carried out by Southern Gas Networks.

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If you drive around Tushmore Roudabout then you need to be prepared to either give youself plenty of extra time OR to avoid the areas completely for the next 7 weeks.

SGN is replacing the old metal gas pipes with new plastic ones to ensure a reliable supply.

The works were agreed with West Sussex County Council and will commence on Monday 18th Nov and last approximately 7 weeks.

The work is being done in three phases with the first phase involving reducing the roundabout down to one lane with all approaching roads also reduced to a single lane.

SGN has listed below the full information for each phase:

Phase one:

We’ll begin working at Tushmore Gyratory roundabout on Monday 18 November. For safety, we’ll need to reduce the roundabout to one lane, with all roads approaching the roundabout also reduced to one lane.

Phase two:

Our engineers will then begin upgrading our pipe in the A23 Crawley Avenue at its junction with the Tushmore Gyratory roundabout. We’ll increase the roundabout and approaching roads from one lane to two lanes. However, the eastbound carriageway of the A23 Crawley Avenue will need to remain reduced to one lane.

Phase three:

We’ll then progress to carry out network upgrades near to Ifield Roundabout. For everyone’s safety, the eastbound carriageway will be reduced to one lane on its approach to Ifield Roundabout from Ifield Community College and between Ifield Roundabout and Tushmore Gyratory roundabout, too. The existing traffic lights and pedestrian crossings will remain in place during our project. The bus lane which runs north/south along the A23/A2219 London Road at Tushmore roundabout will be unaffected by this work.

You can read the full details in the leaflet SGN has produced by clicking here.

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