Thursday 28 October 2010

Trade Award Brings Newham Council Excess To Wider Audience

Finally, the mainstream media has picked up on the fact that London's most deprived borough has spent £18.7m on the cost of the design and décor at the council's offices at Newham Dockside. As we already know, the local authority, which is about to embark on a swathe of cuts in public services, also runs the most expensive council festival in London and, with the Newham Mag, has a fortnightly rag that costs more than any other in the capital.

It's just a shame it has taken an London regional award by a trade body dedicated to "best practice in all aspects of the office sector" for this news to finally reach a wider audience!

From the BBC News website

Cost of giving Newham Council the 'wow factor'

By Ed Davey BBC News, London

London's most expensive council-funded festival, offices with the "wow factor" costing £18.7m and an in-house newspaper costing more than £500,000 a year.

As local authorities digest a 26% funding cut, BBC London examines the outlay in one of the UK's most deprived boroughs.

One critic said the offices resembled a "five star hotel or West End nightclub"

With its reflective floor and designer bird's nest light fittings, Newham Council's new back office looks impressive.

Last week's spending review ushered in an age of austerity for local authorities, ordered to make 7.1% savings annually for four years.

But at Newham Council staff are celebrating winning a top award from the British Council for Offices.

Judges called it an "outstanding transformational workplace environment", saying the "innovative, lively and colourful design contributed to a dynamic environment".

Daniel Windor, of interior designers Sheppard Robson, who carried out the work, said: "You have to have the 'wow factor' in that environment. You need to give it a bit of sparkle or it will fall flat."

More here


Anonymous said...

Newham Council bought this luxury waterfront building for £100million. Why has n't the money gone on improving the Borough? We are an Olympic Borough, but there was been no civic improvements.

But people should be aware of the story behing these waterfront offices, which was empty for 5 years.

Residents keep getting told how good London City Airport is for the prosperity of the local area, well if this is the case then why has this office block been empty for 5 years?. It is Newham Council's fault because they keep approving expansion of London City Airport. No business wants offices with the sound of jets taking off.

Newham Council / London City Airport have killed off the prospects of the Royal Docks Business Park which is an utter failure.

Just imagine all the businesses they could have attracted without the airport!!

Charlie Pottins said...

What are the toilet and bathroom facilities like in this building?
I am just thinking that with a predicted 82,000 evictions next year and local authorities block-booking South coast b&bs, we ought to be compiling a list of suitable places in London for emergency housing of the homeless.
Of course luxury housing up West is best, and there's also the Olympic village, but government and local authority offices could also be considered if of suitable quality. With staff facing redundancy because of cuts, that should mean surplus office space which could be converted to other uses, as well as more people being willing to assist with access.

Anonymous said...

Judges called it an "outstanding transformational workplace environment", saying the "innovative, lively and colourful design contributed to a dynamic environment".

An English translation of the above quote would be very much welcome.

However given their obvious ability to use such worthless, empty, sterile and strangulated language I would suggest that these judges were either employees responsible for the Newham magazine or a team composed of highly paid mayoral advisors.

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