Council meetings return to County Hall’s Council Chamber

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The Council Chamber at County Hall will host its first meeting in five months this week.

Following a £319,000 programme of essential maintenance work and disability access improvements to the chamber and adjoining Assembley Hall, the Full Council will meet on Thursday 15th January.

The maintenance included a new ceiling and upgraded lighting for the Council Chamber, which has been largely untouched since County Hall opened in the 1940s.

A ramp has been added to allow wheelchair access to the chamber.

Jayne Francis-Ward, Corporate Director for Policy Planning and Corporate Services, said: “The essential maintenance work to the Council Chamber has been delivered on-time and well within budget.

“County Hall is a public building and we have a duty to make it safe and accessible for all users, whether they be councillors, employees or visitors taking part in or watching the democratic process.

“The work addresses some long-standing maintenance and safety issues such as an ageing fire alarm system and wiring, which have needed upgrading for some time.

“One of the biggest and costliest elements of the work we needed to address was the removal and disposal of a significant amount of asbestos, without which the project would not have been possible.

“As the cast majority of the work has been to ‘behind-the-scenes’ parts of the building, regular users of the Chamber won’t physically see the results, with the notable exception of the new ramp which will make a big difference to wheelchair users and people with mobility impairments.”