Penrith town councillors will hold an extraordinary meeting on Monday to consider a motion calling on Eden Council to halt all plans for the redevelopment of the town’s Voreda House until the outcome of local government reorganisation in Cumbria.
The motion has been put forward by Jonathan Davies, who is concerned that Eden Council might no longer exist after the reorganisation, thereby affecting the requirement for assets such as Voreda House.
Mr Davies said in his motion to the town council: “There are several proposals for central government to consider and potentially the very existence of Eden Council as a district authority is at threat and a new council, covering a wider area, may be established, drastically changing the local authority framework in Eden and the requirement for assets such as Voreda House in Penrith.
“Eden District Council is acting irresponsibly, pushing forward the Voreda House single site plans when the future of the council is unknown, within the challenging and changing environment created by COVID-19 that will have a long term impact on how organisations operate in the future with more people working remotely.
“This proposal shows a total lack of thought about the needs of the community during a time of significant and emotional hardship.
“Eden District Council is moving to spend vast amounts of public money, to create of office space that may well be surplus to requirements.
“Councils are required to demonstrate value for money. This proposal is short sighted and not value for money.”
The town council has no power over the redevelopment of Voreda House, but if Mr Davies’ motion is approved, the authority’s call for the district council to spend no further money on the project, beyond making it safe, will be passed on to Eden Council.
Eden Council declined to comment.