News

Conservative criticism after only 18 people attend a Welsh Government office that holds 390

01 Nov 2021 2 minutes Read
The Welsh Government building, Llandudno Junction. Picture by Jonathan Wilkins (CC BY-SA 2.0).

The Welsh Conservatives are unhappy that only 18 people are attending work at a Welsh Government office that holds 390.

The government responded to an FOI request by the party to say that that the average daily attendance level for September at their Llandudno Junction Office was recorded as 18 people.

This number was an increase on the 16 people who attended the site daily in August, when the Welsh Government moved Coronavirus restrictions to Alert Level Zero.

The Welsh Government however said that attendance was low because only essential staff attended the office.

“Following the lifting of lockdown the Welsh Government has continued to implement the First Ministers message that staff should continue to work from home where possible, which has resulted in low attendance levels currently,” they said.

‘Urgent questions’

The Conservative Senedd Member for Aberconwy,  Janet Finch-Saunders MS, however, spoke of her “disbelief” at the figure, given that the Llandudno Junction office opened in 2010 at a cost of around £23 million.

“I am astounded that only eighteen people worked at the Llandudno Junction office on a daily basis throughout September,” she said.

“Whilst the pandemic has undoubtedly changed the modern way of work, to have such a building lying dormant for a prolonged period raises urgent questions about the money being spent to maintain the property.

“That the attendance number has only just doubled those attending the multi-million pound building at the very height of the pandemic underlines that the Welsh Government’s vanity project in North Wales serves no beneficial purpose at present.

“Built only over a decade ago, this modern Welsh Government building would have ample social distancing space to support the return to work for more than eighteen workers, especially as we have seen the partial return of other large scale offices including on the Senedd estate.

“Mark Drakeford’s administration must urgently explain to the people of north Wales how this office has been allowed to become a tax money black hole and confirm to the Senedd whether a return to work plan for the site will be implemented.”

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
13 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Huw
Huw
26 days ago

It would be good if the conservatives could generate anything but vacuous soundbites, often wrapping their logic in tailspins at the behest of their English masters.

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
26 days ago

Am sorry, a Tory moaning about a “tax money black hole” is hilarious, don’t remember her being this vexed about the massive and dubious PPE spend of late. Please please please please please Plaid, Lib Dem’s, etc., see sense, stand one candidate next time and let’s be rid of this person.

j humphrys
j humphrys
26 days ago

She is not astounded. I am not astounded. No one is astounded.

Richard
Richard
26 days ago

Chasing best value is great and should not be shouted down from where ever it comes !

BUT

What is being suggested here ?

Is JFS suggesting the northern Wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 office / centre be closed ? Is she suggesting job losses or relocation and economic loss to our area ?

OR

Should it be upgraded so more can work from there ?

OR

Should Y Senedd get more powers to allow local access to residents on the areas they cover eg economic development matters post EU Brexit

We deserve to know which of the above she supports?

Paddy
Paddy
26 days ago

“Astounded” the Welsh govt is following its own guidelines that people should work from home if they can.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
26 days ago

Welsh government spends £23m and ends up with a £23m office block.
Tory government spends 1608 times as much on a test and trace system for England only which has never worked.
Oh dearie dearie me.

j humphrys
j humphrys
25 days ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

I’ll bet your astounded, Kerry? Err, no I won’t

Last edited 25 days ago by j humphrys
Mr Williams
Mr Williams
26 days ago

Did Janet Finch-Saunders not realize that there has been a global pandemic for the past 2 years and that, as a result, many people have had to work from home?

Erisian
Erisian
25 days ago

The latest drivel from the Conservative and Unionist Junta’s Outrage-O-Matic™?
It is interesting to observe that it is those on the right who are opposed to working from home.
Or maybe one of their friends wants to buy it and convert it into flats?
Why not celebrate the reduction in car journeys, and accept that things have changed.
Perhaps, if the situation continues, part of the building could be used for something else.
Stop posturing, wait and see.

Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
25 days ago

So Tory policy is for people to travel to an office when they don’t have to, just because it’s there? What is it about the Climate Emergency and cutting down on unnecessary travel that has passed Saunders by?

To be honest, I’m amazed she can eat without poking an eye out.

hdavies15
hdavies15
25 days ago

certainly wouldn’t let her near an electric drill or hammer.

ArgolFawr!
ArgolFawr!
25 days ago

Regrettably Janet Finch-Saunders MS has a point. I’m for autonomy for Wales, not a leisurely work lifestyle for civil servants. In a building that accommodate nearly 400 people, a covid compliant work environment could be put in place for more than 18 people. Private industry seem to successfully manage it.

blc
blc
24 days ago
Reply to  ArgolFawr!

People working from home are generally more productive and have a better work/life balance. This Victorian workhouse-style “if I can’t see you at your desk then you’re not working” attitude needs to die, and fast.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.