Thinking from the last century

The recent ‘comment’ by Andrew Mobbs on the proposed relocation of WDC’s HQ clearly demonstrates 20th century thinking as the means of resolving a 21st century problem.

There appears to have been no consideration of the widespread use of the internet for the dissemination of information quickly and efficiently, the payment of bills and the opportunity for awareness raising.

As a consequence, many of the traditional activities and services provided by local authorities are either not needed or are now dealt with in a more efficient manner. Conferences and meetings, for example, can be delivered by Skype, whilst information can be shared through the use of social media and websites – much of which can be undertaken from home.

Accepting that this is what happens in 21st century Britain, it surely questions the need for a new council HQ. Moreover, a building in central Leamington already exists – the town hall. Thoughtful design and adaptation would demonstrate how a forward-thinking council can use its existing listed building in an effective way. Why does Leamington need two headquarters and wouldn’t this confuse visitors and residents?

There has been no discussion on the type, scale and nature of any new build. No drawings or impressions have been provided.

Also, I cannot see how the car parking requirement for such a site could be satisfactorily met. The impact on surrounding areas would be significant.

Furthermore, the decision to re-site will be taken by the full council, none of whom appears to have had any design training. If the site is approved then professional advice will be sought – a bit late I would have thought!

If the council and its advisors can present a justifiable case for relocation then an alternative site has already been suggested in the Courier – the former Ford Foundry.

This land, adjacent to Morrisons, is on a bus route is close to the train station and is already accessible from the existing, road, cycleway and footpath networks. Car parking could easily be provided and the location is convenient for not only the residents of Leamington, but also Kenilworth and Warwick and the whole of the district.

When national and local elected representatives are understandably receiving considerable and justified flack for being out of touch with local communities, it seems outrageous that our own council leaders appear to be oblivious to the potential impact of their actions.

The impression that I am getting is that `We know best, we are not interested in your views and we are going ahead with this site irrespective of any comments to the contrary’.

Jerry Birkbeck, Green Lane, Warwick