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Eton Town Council considers moving out of offices to save 'significant' costs

James Bagley, Local Democracy Reporter

Eton Town Council considers moving out of offices to save 'significant' costs

Eton Town councillors could have no offices at all as they consider moving out of their current building in order to save 'significant' costs.

At an Eton Town Council meeting on January 7 (Thursday), members were considering a move out of their offices on the High Street – which costs around £12,000 – to save money during the vote of the 2021/22 budget.

Having no offices at all is an option on the table but moving to the cheaper Eton Wick Village Hall is another 'viable' choice members are considering – which councillor Peter Lawless called 'best use of taxpayers’ money'.

No definitive decision has been made as it will have to go to public consultation.

The chairman of Eton Town Council, mayor George Fussey, said: “We have done our very best to look at every line of the budget and I don’t think we’ve done that in previous years.

“By that, I mean we looked at the viability of the town council offices and the cost – which is significant to the town council offices – which amounts to something like £12,000 or more.

“We are looking at other alternatives and we’ve been to Eton Wick Village Hall and we have looked at the facilities there. The facilities look good and we are waiting to hear from the Village Hall committee.”

He added: “The lease on the town council offices is six months, so there’s definite lag time with anything we do and any savings we make in the future financial [year].

“There’s all sorts of arguments for why we shouldn’t move, why we could move, and why we shouldn’t have any offices at all – but we’ll get to that in due course.”

In the budget – which was unanimously approved – councillors plan to increase spending on election costs, assuming they go ahead in May, playground maintenance, and greenery maintenance.

The town council also agreed to spend over £6,500 plus VAT to undertake remedial work on various trees across the area as a result of a tree survey conducted by Maydencroft Ltd.

However, spending on postage, stamps and stationery is to be reduced as the town council moves to electronic banking.
Costs on IT, the hire of the copier, and refilling of salt bins are also to be cut.

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