Council Quits New Offices Because Overhead Aircraft Affect Their Computers

Council offices at Porthmellon

Council offices at Porthmellon

Council staff are being moved out of their new £100,000 offices because overhead planes are disrupting their computers.

Economic Development and IFCA staff have been told they’ll be moved to the former Lifelong Learning Offices at Carn Thomas or the Old Wesleyan Chapel.

The relocation from the recently refurbished Porthmellon premises forms part of the overall Council reorganisation.

Council Chairman Amanda Martin says the industrial estate building is underneath the flight path. That affects IT equipment, she says, and makes it a poor choice for a Council building.

Amanda says relocation of the workforce will improve efficiency and allow staff to regroup in fewer buildings.

The former Home Hardware Garden Centre has been a costly purchase for the Council.

They bought it for £100,000 in 2009 and spent £30,000 on refurbishment. It was valued two years later at £115,000.

The purchase was agreed without formal valuation and was made as an urgent acquisition, signed off by a handful of members.

Some locals objected. The Council’s auditors found nothing unlawful in the purchase of the unit from the former Council Chairman’s husband, but the auditors’ investigation, which also tackled complaints about Chief Officers’ pay rises, racked up a further £49,000 bill.

Amanda says the building will be let in the short term. There are no details on how islanders can tender for it at this stage and in the long term, the building’s future will be reviewed as part of the Council asset management strategy.

The vacated premises will be joined by additional office space on the industrial estate, soon.

Work is set to commence next month on a £1.5m Council scheme to transform the former wholesalers building into offices and workspaces for local businesses.

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