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Stoke-on-Trent City Council to spend £5.3 million on office furniture at new Hanley HQ

Saturday 2 August 2014

MORE than £5 million of taxpayers’ cash is set to be spent on office furniture by a cash-strapped council.
Three-quarters of the funding will be used to kit out Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s new headquarters and central library in Hanley’s Central Business District (CBD) development.
The shopping list for the council’s two buildings on the Smithfield complex includes 2,116 chairs, 1,076 desks and 356 tables.
Most of them will be used by around 1,700 council staff who are due to relocate to the new £55 million headquarters next year.
The remainder of the £5.3 million will be spent on furniture for other council buildings, including at Longton and Tunstall town halls.
Now the authority is inviting tenders from firms for a £4.92 million office furniture contract, and a £400,000 library furniture contract.
The contracts will run for four years and cover all the council’s furniture needs over that period.
Councillors have already approved spending £2.5 million on furniture within the existing Smithfield budget.
Councillor Alastair Watson, cabinet member for finance, said: “The council is inviting offers for a four-year contract which will provide furniture and fittings.
“Unfortunately, furniture isn’t free.
“This contract will enable us to get the advantage of bulk purchase discounts so we can get the best possible deal for the council. We are hoping that local businesses will bid for the contract so we have the best possibility of ensuring the money stays in the city.”
The council is set to dispose of 29 of its administrative buildings across the city, while 15, including the Civic Centre in Stoke, will be retained as part of the switch to Hanley.
It is not known what will happen to the furniture in the council buildings which will no longer be used.
City Councillor Dave Conway, leader of the City Independents group on the authority, believes the council should be re-using its old furniture.

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