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Outrage as council pays £1,500 for removals across the road

A council paid £1,500 to hire a removals van to move staff just yards across the street.

Because of health and safety fears, Lancashire Council workers were told not to try to carry boxes over the road.
Instead a van was parked outside the Guild House offices in Preston facing towards the Winckley House property into which some of the building’s 200 staff were relocating. It was filled up and driven down the road to turn around before reversing over to the other side of the road.

Files, computers and office furniture were among the equipment needing to be moved.

The council and the company said the seconds-long journey was necessary to ensure the health and safety of the firm’s staff.

Kevin Thompson, owner Liverpool-based The Removal Team, which carried out the work, said: “It is health and safety – we just can’t carry boxes across the road.

“If you can imagine it being carried across the road and a car comes and one goes one way and one the other you will end up with a desk in the middle of the road.

“I’m sure it looked humorous and I believe it was 10 yards from one building to the other. It is our company’s health and safety guidelines. We can’t just carry boxes across the road.”

Colin Boardman, Environment Directorate support manager, said: “We are moving all furniture and equipment from Guild House to Winckley House. We hired a removal firm so that we don’t have to carry everything, which includes some specialist IT equipment, across a busy road.”

Guild House largely houses the council’s environment directorate, including highways consultancy workers and business services.

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