EDEN Council is to try to buy the former magistrates’ court building in Penrith from the Ministry of Justice.
The proposed purchase of the former home of the court, which sat for the final time in April, was discussed behind closed doors at a meeting of the authority.
It is believed the building in Hunter Lane could figure in plans to streamline the council’s office accommodation.
Eden is looking to save around £100,000 a year from April, 2014, by moving all staff to a single site, probably Penrith Town Hall, and the former magistrates’ court is being looked at as an option as part of a review of council premises in the town.
Mike Eyles (Lib Dem, Penrith) raised concerns that the issue was being debated in the absence of press and public.
He said: “We really need to inform the public what we intend to do in this area. I’m very concerned that all this is going to be heard behind closed doors. There will be a lot of criticism when this comes out in public.”
A spokesman for the council said that it had agreed to proceed with the acquisition of the building from the Ministry of Justice.