Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 29°C

min temp: 17°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bury St Edmunds: St Edmundsbury Borough Council defends plan to spend £50,000 on new audio equipment at West Suffolk House

08:00 22 January 2014

The West Suffolk House council offices in Bury St Edmunds.

The West Suffolk House council offices in Bury St Edmunds.

Archant

A council has defended its plan to spend about £50,000 replacing audio equipment at a building which opened almost five years ago.

On Friday councillors will vote on whether to ask for quotes for the new equipment in the council chamber at West Suffolk House in Bury St Edmunds.

Members of the public often have difficulty hearing what is being said during meetings and sometimes councillors have to shout because the microphones do not work properly.

West Suffolk House is jointly owned by St Edmundsbury Borough Council and Suffolk County Council.

A borough council spokeswoman said: “We are looking at replacing a heavily-used audio system for the council chamber at West Suffolk House which was installed when the building opened five years ago.

“Some of the equipment needs replacing through normal wear and tear. However, since the building opened, demand has also outstripped the capacity of the audio system, so that when mobile phones, laptops and other equipment are used in the building and surrounding offices it affects quality and reliability.”

She said a replacement system was likely to cost about £50,000 and the funding would come from the building’s maintenance and equipment budget.

Independent councillor Trevor Beckwith said it seemed a lot of money to pay out when the building was only five years old. “To me it seems rather soon after a brand new building with all the new gear in it and planning that went ahead to get up and running,” he added.

David Nettleton, who is also an independent councillor, said once when he chaired a meeting he found he was having to shout so the public could hear. “They have come to hear what’s being said so it’s not very satisfactory,” he added.

He said there had been numerous issues with the new council offices, including the level of noise because of the open-plan design. He said: “That building has been there since March 2009 – we’re talking about five years – and we still don’t have everything sorted out at that building.”

Councillors will vote on the plans for the new audio equipment at a meeting of the Shared Offices Joint Committee.

1 comment

  • It sounds like the building isn't fit for purpose as they are still sorting out problems from 5 years ago. Surely the firm that built the building and fitted it out should be sorting this out after all new builds should have at least a 10 year certificate like new houses shouldn't they?. Also £50000 seems a lot of money for a microphone and a few speakers lets hope the council get at least 3 different quotes after all it is our money.

    Report this comment

    royg

    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Abellio Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles.

The average speed of trains between London and Ipswich will be cut to just over an hour in three years’ time – but the Ipswich in 60 ambition will depend on Network Rail carrying out improvement work.

Javid Ahmed, 26, a student, of Fambridge Close, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter with diminished responsibility

A son has pleaded guilty to manslaughter today on the grounds of diminished responsibility after stabbing his mother 37 times in Maldon.

Bury St Edmunds train station.

Concerted calls for a 20-year backlog of repairs to be carried out at the historic Bury St Edmunds railway station are being made, with concern for the fabric of the buildings.

CCTV footage of Linstead Parva burglary suspect

Three suspects broke into the Linstead Farm and Garden Machinery shop in Linstead Parva and made off with farming and gardening tools worth in the region of £5,000.

Stephen Cook of Churchgate Books

Have changing fashions doomed the traditional second-hand book shop, or has the rise of the internet just meant people have to move with the times?

Dalian Atkinson playing for Ipswich in 1988. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

An inquest is to be opened today into the death of ex-Ipswich Town footballer Dalian Atkinson after he was shot with a police Taser.

File picture of police car.

A motorcyclist has died after his bike was in a collision with a van in Witham yesterday afternoon.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24