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Stourport councillors 'belittled' by HQ passes row
STOURPORT town councillors say they have been made to feel “belittled” in their new surroundings at Wyre Forest District Council’s new HQ because they have not been given passes to get into the building.
Members of Stourport Town Council who are not also Wyre Forest district or Worcestershire county councillors – 11 of 18 representatives– must sign in at reception at Wyre Forest House and wait to be escorted through security gates, like visitors.
Town council meetings were moved into the £10 million building temporarily after the former venue at Stourport Civic Centre was vacated and it is not known when they will return there.
District council leader, Conservative councillor John Campion, said passes for Wyre Forest House were not issued to mayors, town or parish councillors.
Stourport Mayor and Independent Community and Health Concern (ICHC) councillor Gary Talbot said it made it more difficult for town councillors to do their jobs.
“We must go to reception, fill out a form for the receptionist to phone the Stourport office and someone has to come down and get us,” he said. “It is belittling us and we are treated as visitors.”
“We had door passes to the old headquarters [at the civic centre] so we do not know who has made this decision.
We have to meet in Wyre Forest House and very often we have to wait.”
Conservative councillor and Stourport Deputy Mayor Ken Henderson echoed Mr Talbot’s concerns.
He said: “Quite often our meetings are in the evening so it makes it difficult, especially if there is no receptionist there.
“I like to have my meetings face to face in the Stourport office so it is definitely a problem.”
Mr Campion added: “They have free access to public areas of the building, including all meeting rooms and the cafe.
“The remainder of the building is accessed by security passes, which are issued to employees. We also have temporary visitors’ and contractors’ passes’ which are issued as and when appropriate.”
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