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Should Council leaders have their own offices?

My Council leader in Hammersmith and Fulham doesn't have his own office in the Town Hall. He sets an example by "hot desking" in a "zone" rather than shutting himself away. It seems to work rather well.

There is a lot of attention paid to councillors allowances - but rather less scrutiny to the cost of their office space and whether so much of it is really needed.

The BBC's North West Political Editor Arif Ansari makes the following observation on his blog about Cheshire West and Chester Council:

Cheshire West was only created last year when there was a shake-up of local government in the county.

The new administration moved swiftly to change the way it did business and offer better value for hard-pressed council taxpayers.

The most obvious sign of change is its building.

The historic County Hall has new owners. Councillors have given way to classrooms, as students from Chester University now fill the corridors.

The council has meanwhile moved to a modern, open plan building known simply as HQ.

Its Conservative Leader, Mike Jones, sits next to his chief executive in the middle of a room. Other senior officers sit nearby.

The building is two thirds the size of County Hall, yet more people work there.

It means running costs are lower and, I'm told, decision making is quicker.


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