Council to spend £2.2m on town hall improvements

Council to spend £2.2m on town hall improvements

Francis Batt

A new £2.2m scheme will transform staff conditions at Maidenhead Town Hall that have been compared with the 'the back streets of Moscow'.

The ambitious plan to make the current 'rabbit warren' of offices in the Town Hall open plan won formal approval at a meeting of the Royal Borough's ruling cabinet last night.

It was formally unveiled by cabinet member Cllr Michael John Saunders (Con, Bisham and Cookham).

The end result will see open offices with shared desks replacing the current 'rabbit warren' of rooms.

Cllr Saunders said that the former Liberal Democrat administration's improvement works to the town hall five years ago had only covered parts of the building seen and used by the public.

But he said: "The office areas used by our staff have been described as being like the 'back streets of Moscow'.

"We need office accommodation fit for purpose. The previous work left 60 per cent of the building untouched. We want to take a simple, austere approach to creating open spaces that are collaborative, open and engaging for all our personnel."

The changes will affect 618 staff currently based in the building.

Cllr Saunders also revealed that the nearby St Mary's offices where 62 council staff work would get a similar makeover.

Staff will move into nearby St Ives House and York Stream House while the Town Hall and St Mary's are being converted.

When the work is finished by the summer of 2013 both St Ives and York Stream will be sold off as part of the town centre regeneration scheme, enabling the Town Hall improvements to be self-financing.

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