Friday, 6 March 2009

New Civic Centre Discussions

Cllr Tony Jones has urged Reading councillors to oppose the 'purpose-built palace' for the replacement to the civic centre.

Howard Thomas of Reading's Common Sense Party received a response to a Freedom of Information request which showed that £3.7m has been spent on the new design - before even one brick has been laid.

Over on his own page Mr Thomas notes that councillors have already agreed to reconsider their options following questions about the level of money spent.

Cllr Jones states his proposal for council workers to move temporarily into alternative accomodation across the town centre where there are many empty office properties. He also summarises the preferences of the main party groups on RBC: Labour want to build a brand-new building on Hosier Street (estimated cost £54-60m), LibDems propose ongoing renovation of the current facility, while the Conservatives propose sale of the current site and relocation.

The excellent Property Week provides additional details on the site development.

Reading Evening Post outlines the political wrangling involved.

Cllr Jones hopes that the issue will be on the agenda at the next council meeting on 12th March.


Updates: Prospective developers Mace Group outline the principle purposes of the redevelopment.

Adrian Windisch reminds everyone that he can't spell and hasn't read the planning brief.

Thank you for the spell-check, Adrian.


  1. Typical jones posturing. Council tax payers will always have to pay for council accomondation - the question is whether it should be in rent to a private landlord or to buy / mortgage a new build and own it. Most people would agree that it is better to own your own place (however long term that arrangement is) rather than endlessly pay rent to a private landlord - remembering that rent can go up as well as down. It's a no brainer - but then that's not the point is it? It's just another local poliitcal football.

  2. I agree, complete waste of money and not Green. I wrote a letter to the press saying that it was a waste of £54 million when it was suggested in Oct 06.

  3. Given the energy performance of the current building (Glenn Goodall has highlighted this), the current building hardly looks Green itself, Adrian!

  4. Hi annon 11.45,

    I was just about to say... walk in to the Civic centre and look left, just above the security office. You'll see a nice chart stating just how crap the current Civic is. Asbestos is a massive issue as well...

    Its often forget that people actually have to work in there - so something clearly has to be done. But I do agree that any expenditure has to be fully justified. Hence why in full council we, Lib Dems cllrs, argued that we wanted the renovation of the current building to at least be explored.

  5. If you read my letter from 2006, I didn't suggest doing nothing. I proposed refurbishing, and have an example of a similar age building that had been upgraded. See


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