Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 12°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.

shares

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.

shares

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

Motorists experienced delays on the A14 (file pic).

Traffic on the A14 near Ipswich has returned to normal following a two-vehicle crash earlier this morning.

Suffolk County Council headquarters; Endeavour House, Ipswich.

How Suffolk schools are rated by local education chiefs is being kept secret – because they say releasing the information is “not in the public interest”.

David Lloyd Leisure Ltd, Ipswich

A court has heard how a noxious substance released into a swimming pool happened while staff were trying to restart its pumps.

Some of the floral tributes left by the community

A Suffolk businessman who murdered his estranged wife with an axe before jumping to his death from a town centre car park was treated at a mental health unit the week before the tragedy, an inquest has heard.

Kitchen fire is extinguished in Lowestoft.

Fire crews from Lowestoft have extinguished a kitchen blaze.

Arrests made over shop ram raid.

Two men have been arrested in connection with a ram raid at a convenience store in Ipswich last Thursday.

Two men arrested over filling station burglary in Ipswich.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the burglary of a petrol station on the Chantry estate in Ipswich.

A 24-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of two people in Leiston earleir this year.

A fifth person has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of a man and a teenage boy in Leiston in April.

Police are investigating the incident

Police are investigating a burglary at a garden centre in Sturmer, Essex.

Robbie Warner

A day held in memory of a 19-year-old from Suffolk who died while at university has raised more than £5,000.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages