Chamber pushes for council move

PUBLISHED: 10:23 08 December 2006 | UPDATED: 21:27 29 May 2010

Mike Perry outside Uttlesford District Council’s offices in Dunmow - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mike Perry outside Uttlesford District Council’s offices in Dunmow - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

CALLS for the relocation of council staff back to Dunmow from Saffron Walden have been made by a businessman. Mike Perry, chairman of Dunmow Chamber of Commerce made the call following a document released by Alasdair Bovaird, chief executive of UDC. It st

CALLS for the relocation of council staff back to Dunmow from Saffron Walden have been made by a businessman.

Mike Perry, chairman of Dunmow Chamber of Commerce made the call following a document released by Alasdair Bovaird, chief executive of UDC.

It stated: "The offices in London Road, while well located, are fast becoming unfit for purpose.

"Similarly, the Dunmow offices are extremely dated and are difficult and costly to maintain.

"Unless radical action is taken to avoid it, the 2007-11 council will need to consider relocating out of the existing office facilities."

Mr Perry, said: "It would be good if the council remembered that it has a prime office block here in Dunmow's town centre that is sitting there virtually empty.

"I would like to see them refurbish the building and return their 200 plus staff to work in it.

"It would be a dreadful waste of tax payers' money for Uttlesford District Council to rent out buildings elsewhere when they've got perfectly adequate offices standing empty here."

When the council moved its staff out of the offices in High Street to relocate them to Saffron Walden, it had a knock on effect that was experienced by traders throughout the town.

Mr Perry thought that there had originally been upwards of 40 people working at the offices.

"When they left, that meant there were 40 fewer people buying sandwiches, groceries, coffee and other goods from shops in the town," said Mr Perry.

"The council did say that other businesses would be moving into the vacant offices but we haven't seen any moving in there."

The building remains largely empty with the exception of the reception on the ground floor.

Occasionally meetings, such as the recent inquiry into the proposed expansion of the Oakwood Park development in Felsted are also held in the building.

There are also a couple of voluntary organisations around the back of the building including Dunmow Citizens Advice Bureau.

A council spokesman remained tight-lipped over the future use of its buildings and the location of its staff.

He said: "It is a bit early in the proceedings to be able to make any constructive comment on what the final plans will be.

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