10 February 2015

Scrapping Town Hall plan would not help children’s centres

The council has responded to a newspaper report claiming that money being spent increasing office space at Hove Town Hall should instead be spent on children’s centres.

The council has confirmed the idea would be illegal.

Council leader Jason Kitcat said:  “The changes to Hove Town Hall have cross-party support and are designed to save money in the medium to longer term.

“Scrapping the plan would give the council less money, not more.

“Expanding office space at Hove Town Hall would enable the council to vacate and sell Kings House.  This would save approaching £800,000 a year in running costs alone.  Then there would be capital receipts worth millions of pounds from selling the building and New Homes Bonus from the government if Kings House became homes.

“There are strict regulations meaning that income from the disposal of other assets, which we’re using for Hove Town Hall, can only be spent on capital investment and therefore could not be used to cover running costs of  services - including children’s centres.

“It’s very important the current debate on the council’s very difficult budget position is based on facts.”

The Authority needs to save around £100m in the next four years due to reductions in central government grants and rising costs.