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Bonkers Blog February 2015

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10 February (Part 2) - A million a year. One and a half, maybe more like £4m. It’s all guesswork

Bexley council’s transformation of the old Woolwich Building Society’s headquarters building has been submitted for an award.

Council leader Teresa O’Neill said the building “has produced real and significant benefits for local people” when in reality all it has done for residents is cause those who need to visit the building a longer walk from the shops or bus stops and a softer seat while they wait for attention. Unless you are among the tiny minority which values the web casting of meetings or is impressed by the loss of public car park space.

More interesting than that subjective opinion, is how much the building saved, if anything. In 2011 it was going to save taxpayer’s a million pounds a year, by last year the official guess was £1·5 million a year. The figure submitted to the awards committee is £56 million over the next 15 years. They make it up as they go along.

The application was supported, whatever that means, by Eco Communities, the company that was chosen by Bexley council over Howbury Friends to run the Slade Green community centre. I suppose they do owe the council a few favours.

The award winners will be announced by The Local Government Chronicle on 11th March 2015.


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