Councillors given free pick of Taberner’s unwanted furniture

‘Ere, Rodney. Fancy a new tear-shaped sofa for Nelson Mandela House?

Everybody out: the council's started to flog its office furniture on the cheap as it prepares for its big move

Everybody out: the council’s started to get rid of its office furniture as it prepares for its big move

The spectre of Del Boy stalks Croydon Council every day.

After forking out £3 million on furnishings for its new offices because its existing chairs and desks just would not do for Mike Fisher’s £140 million vanity project, now the council is looking to give away its Taberner House office equipment.

A decision has been taken that the cost of generating what pitiful amounts they might get for the second-hand council furniture eliminates a car boot sale as a possibility. So, you’d think that local charities, community groups, schools or care homes might be given first dibs in this disposal.

You’d think wrong, as the Town Hall’s 70 councillors – annual allowances of at least £11,000 – get first pick.

This email was sent yesterday afternoon from someone called Amanda Riggall, the head of facilities in what is called the “facilities management team”:

“Dear Councillors,

“Some furniture will be in need of a new home when the majority of council services move to Croydon’s new, purpose-built public access and administration building, Bernard Weatherill House, later this year.

“Taberner House is the largest of a number of premises that will be vacated as part of the move, and we want to make sure that all the furniture from the building is reused if it is in a good enough condition or, if it cannot be reused, that it is recycled.

“We have already received some Councillor requests, which we have captured, however, for thoroughness we now attach a full inventory detailing the furniture, which will be available from mid-September. If you are interested in anything listed on it, please email us at furniture.reuse@croydon.gov.uk by Friday 16th August and let us know the following…”

The email then goes on to outline how councillors should itemise what equipment they may want to acquire for their private businesses and offices. The equipment is unguaranteed, has to be collected, and can only be used within the borough of Croydon (though how they intend to “police” that odd condition isn’t explained).

If you want to take a look at the inventory of “old” furniture, click on the link below to download the council’s Excel file.

TABERNER HSE FURNITURE INV EXT

Clearly, none of that could possibly have been re-used in the new council offices.

If you think you could make good use of any of it, then why not log a request via furniture.reuse@croydon.gov.uk – making sure that you let Inside Croydon know how you get along.

Cushty.

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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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2 Responses to Councillors given free pick of Taberner’s unwanted furniture

  1. Taking property that does not belong to you is theft.

    Those who are employed or elected to manage assets on behalf of the community have a duty to seek best value for money. Croydon has plenty of organisations such as schools and charities that can make good use of second-hand property. If there is no one that wants it these days, Ebay is a ready market for all sorts of items.

    Margaret Thatcher may have had her shortcomings but she fully grasped the need for good housekeeping – it is a pity that this Tory council administration cannot grasp it.

    The Local Government Ombudsman requires people to go through the Council’s complaints procedure first – so get writing. http://www.croydon.gov.uk/democracy/feedback/complaints-procedure/procedure

    Like

  2. The renowned Tory lickspittle, Vidhi Mohan, reckons that by not publishing the terms and conditions contained in the council email, we might be misleading our readers.

    Mohan, “councillor” for Fairfield ward, reckons the furniture is *only* for charities and community groups. “They are meant for voluntary/community groups only, not for cllrs,” Mohan has Tweeted, accusing Inside Croydon of publishing untruths (yeah, when we’ve published a council email, go figure…).

    Take a look at these terms and decide whether our councillors have been given broad latitude over how the furniture might be used. And also ask how the council can determine how the furniture is used once it is collected from Taberner House.

    You might also consider whether Councillor Mohan is a liar:

    Terms and conditions

    The furniture must be for use:

    within a council building; or
    1. by a group or person discharging their official duties on behalf of the London Borough of Croydon; or
    by a group providing services to Croydon residents on behalf of the London Borough of Croydon; or
    by a primary or secondary school; or
    by a not-for-profit organisation or charity.

    2. The furniture must be used within the London Borough of Croydon only.

    3. The furniture is provided free of charge, without warrantee [SIC] or guarantee and on the basis that the council will accept no liability for the furniture received.

    4. The furniture must be accepted at the point of delivery/collection.

    5. The furniture must be collected (or delivered if it is for council use or for members discharging official duties of office) from the Ground Floor of Taberner House, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 3JS (exact collection details will be confirmed in further communications).

    6. The furniture must not be resold, and must be correctly recycled at the end of its life.

    7. Furniture will be provided subject to availability.

    Like

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