Indecision over new headquarters

POLITICAL groups at County Hall have not yet decided whether to support proposals to move to a new headquarters in the town.But individual politicians contacted by The Evening Star suggest that the move will be approved by an overwhelming majority on Thursday.

POLITICAL groups at County Hall have not yet decided whether to support proposals to move to a new headquarters in the town.

But individual politicians contacted by The Evening Star suggest that the move will be approved by an overwhelming majority on Thursday.

Because the issue will involve discussion of financial matters, it will be discussed in the closed section of the agenda – with the press and public excluded.

And because of the confidential nature of the agenda, most councillors have been unwilling to discuss details on the record.

However all those contacted by the Star – and we have spoken to members from the three political groups and from across the county – said the basic idea of moving to a new corporate headquarters has their support.

"At present it seems that all the departments are still run as their own little baronies in their own offices. It would be good to bring them altogether in one corporate headquarters," said one Conservative councillor from West Suffolk.

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"My only real concern is that I'm not sure that we'll still have a county council in five years time – then what will happen?"

A leading Labour councillor from Ipswich was extremely enthusiastic about the proposal.

"We'll have to look in detail at the finances, but with the potential for Suffolk College this looks like a win-win deal," the councillor said.

Liberal Democrats, too, seem likely to back the plan – one said that they were especially impressed by the energy-saving devices that TXU had built into what was planned as their new headquarters.

Council officers are recommending members approve the plan at Thursday's meeting of the full council – and if they are given the go-ahead the final details of the move could be thrashed out within the next few weeks allowing work on the two-thirds built office to resume.

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