max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°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.


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


    Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Plans for new homes in Stowupland rejected

A developer’s bid to build more than 150 homes in a Suffolk village has been rejected by planners.

Ipswich Crown Court.

A speeding motorist has been jailed after taking police on a 115mph chase on the A14 – before he was found hiding in a bush by a police dog.

Police closed Felixstowe Road, Ipswich.

A man has been taken to hospital after the motorcycle he was riding collided with a van.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service called to Foxhall Road, Ipswich.

Firefighters were called to help a young child who got their head trapped between two bollards.

Travellers in Jaywick.

A group of travellers today returned to a site they had previously camped on in Jaywick - but were stopped in their tracks.

The large scale police operation in Potash Road, Wyverstone.

A village stalwart and chairman of a Suffolk parish council hid hundreds of illegal guns in a secret room at his house, a court heard.

The ice skating rink currently being installed in the Arc shopping centre in Bury St Edmunds

Limited parking capacity in Bury St Edmunds is set to be boosted by 420 extra spaces over the festive period after local brewer Greene King offered free use of its staff car park at weekends.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the East Anglian Daily Times e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24