Lewis Carroll couldn’t have made this up.
There is a proposal going before Croydon Council’s corporate services committee on Wednesday that suggests spending £3.14 million of public money on new furniture and fittings for Bernard Weatherill House, the council headquarters that is being built by the council that says it cannot afford to pay for Lollipop Ladies to keep our children safe when crossing roads on their way to school.
The proposal to the council committee seriously suggests that £3.14 million on new kit is better “vfm” – value for money – than spending £2.12 million on moving, dismantling and re-assembling furniture from the current council offices in Taberner House.
Yes: according to Croydon Council, spending more than £1 million extra on new furniture for councillors and council executives is “value for money”. But then, this is the same council that authorised spending £140 million on building the unnecessary glass palace in the first place.
The option in the committee papers for Wednesday’s meeting says:
“The estimated cost associated with moving existing furniture to BWH, including a move period of 18 weeks, dismantling and re assembling furniture, dual running costs of both buildings (Taberner/BWH) and replacement of a minimum 25% not suitable for re-assembly was considered too high at £2,123,000 when compared with the same for new equipment and a 6 week move programme at £3,143,000 and therefore was not deemed vfm especially when considering the impact and risk to service delivery of an extended move period and understanding that much of the existing furniture is reaching end of shelf life and would require replacing during 2014 any event.”
And you’d be right to think that there’s no council employees proof-reading these papers for spelling and grammatical errors.
So at this time of austerity, service cuts, council redundancies and Council Tax increases, Conservative-controlled Croydon continues to spend our cash like a drunken sailor when it comes to the home comforts for their glass palace HQ.
The £3.1 million this year appears to be in addition to the £900,000 being spent to furnish the “Public Service Delivery Hub”.
It’s enough to make the Mad Hatter’s tea party seem quite sane.
- Well, Mike Fisher: How much are you spending on council HQ?
- £140 million: the cost of our council’s secrecy and vanity
- Davis House’s £5m losses and council’s secret £1m loan
- Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon
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