A ‘U-TURN’ on the Warwick District Council’s HQ project has been hailed a success by the local MP – but the council insists a formal decision is yet to be made.
A report this week suggested the council was planning to scrap the project.
And a council spokeswoman told the Observer it has taken an administrative step to formally end the contract award process for the Covent Garden site.
It follows a decision made by the council not to proceed with the project through the PSP Warwick LLP – the limited liability partnership (LLP) it established with private company, Public Sector PLC in 2013.
The £18million scheme was set to include a new HQ, with its current Riverside House site replaced with housing, and a new multi-storey car park at Covent Garden.
A council spokeswoman said: “Warwick District Council has issued the Official Journal of the European Union notice to formally end the contract award process for the Covent Garden site. This is simply an administrative step following the decision made by the council to not proceed with the project through the LLP last year.
“The council has yet to make any formal decision on future use of either the Riverside House or Covent Garden sites.”
But Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western says the council’s change in direction now needs answers.
He said: “After years of campaigning on behalf of residents and businesses, I’m pleased to hear that Warwick District Council have finally u-turned on their costly and unnecessary plans to build themselves a new office.
“This is the right decision for the local community. However, we know that millions of the public’s money has been wasted and sunk into this project. We need an honest and transparent assessment of exactly how much has gone to companies such as PSP, and I will pursue the council to clawback as much as possible.
“I will also be seeking full disclosure on the costs of this.
“Thank you to all who helped in this campaign.”