East Cambs Council staff relocate to council chamber after office is closed due to structural problem

STAFF at East Cambridgeshire District Council were forced to camp out in the council chamber this week after structural problems meant their offices had to be closed.

Eight members of staff moved to the chamber - and as a result Tuesday’s full council meeting had to be relocated to Witchford Village College and another meeting on Wednesday was moved to Ely Beet Club.

A structural engineer, who was at The Grange in connection with a new reception area, first discovered problems with ceilings in the 1989 extension to the building.

Because of health and safety concerns, immediate repairs were carried out to the ground floor reception area used by the public. That area was out of commission for one-and-a-half days, and a temporary meet and greet area was set up over that period. Staff are now working as normal in reception.

Fifteen members of staff who use the ground and first floors of The Grange annexe have been relocated, eight to the council chamber and others are sharing offices in the older part of the building.

Builders are currently working to strengthen the affected ceilings, and it is hoped that work will be completed by early summer.

Andrew Killington, deputy chief executive at East Cambs District Council, said: “Following on from the need for remedial work to be carried out in the Annexe section of the Grange, the reception area of the building was reopened on Tuesday 18 May. However, further work to the ceiling on the first and ground floor is required.

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“While this is completed a number of staff have been moved to different sections of the Grange and the venue of some council meetings have changed to ensure business continues as normal as possible.

“I apologise for any inconvenience which visitors to the Grange may have experienced but I am sure they understand the need to deal effectively with this health and safety issue.”