A veteran politician has fired a broadside at bosses of cash-strapped Wirral Council for spending more than £66,000 on office furniture.
Boxes of brand new desks were stacked on the pavement outside a council building in Wallasey last week, raising the eyebrows of passers-by.
One took a snap and sent it off to Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Phil Gilchrist.
Councillor Gilchrist then forwarded it to the local authority’s chief executive with a note attached asking: “Was it really necessary to purchase this lot?
“The furniture was stacked three layers high, three boxes wide, and fourteen boxes deep.
“I’m grateful to the alert resident who spotted this.
“It’s not surprising people think the council carries on regardless.”
The purchase may come as a surprise to many council tax payers who have been warned to expect a 4% rise in their annual bills to make up for a £26m budget shortfall.
An email from council boss Eric Robinson in response has been seen by the Globe.
It said: “I can confirm the cost of furniture for the South Annexe is £66,161.60.
“it is considered essential to purchase new furniture that is designed and sized to allow increased occupancy of buildings, maximising the use of available floor space.
“Had we allowed staff to move into the South Annexe bringing their existing furniture then realistically the maximum number of staff we could accommodate would be 125 to 130.
“The new furniture will allow us to accommodate up to 185 staff – for this reason we consider the purchasing of new furniture represents value for money.
“The funding is capital not revenue and therefore cannot be used for day to day running of the council.”