A COUNCIL is considering refurbishing seats its members use during meetings – something that could cost thousands of pounds. Cheadle Town councillors discussed whether they should go ahead with the re-upholstering of chairs or not, at a town council meeting at the council chambers, located on Leek Road, on Monday (March 2). The council hires out the historic chambers from the owner of the property, and uses the room for full council and extraordinary meetings.
The council has received a quote from Carlton Upholstery for seven chairs to be re-upholstered. The quote states that it would cost £1,100 to reinstall the seats with faux leather and £2,000 to replenish them with real leather.
Councillor Dave Sargeant, who chairs the Finance and Resources committee, told councillors: “This is on the agenda to decide whether we feel we need to do something about these chairs.
“I’m told that the faux leather will last about 200 years. We will try to source locally, if we decide to go ahead with it.”
Councillor Richard Alcock said: “The landlord should be responsible for that, not the ratepayer. This isn’t right.”
Councillor Kate Martin stated: “I was shocked when I saw this on the agenda.
“I can’t believe we are considering spending £2,000 in here – we shouldn’t be decorating in here.
“I’ve estimated that we’ll use these seats for about 18 hours in total. Why on earth spend money on this when we have got other things to pay for?
“We shouldn’t be doing anything in here. If we have got £2,000, spend it on the toilets down on the recreation field so people can actually go and use them.”
Cllr Sargeant responded by clarifying that the suggestion to refurbish the seats was not a definite decision and that the purpose of the agenda item was to “see where we will go with it and what we are going to do.”
Councillor Peter Elkin remarked: “As councillor Martin says, it’s a lot of money to pay when other things are needed in the town.
“I think we should look at what others charge first before making a decision.”
Councillor Ron Locker stated: “Get a price for the one we see, we sit on the others.”
Councillor Ray Wood identified a specific chair that he thought may need replenishing, highlighting the possible need for refurbishment aesthetic-wise for when members of the public and guests attend a meeting.
Councillor Robert Slater commented: “I think if we pay for one, we are setting a precedent for all the others then.”
The council ultimately concluded that it would seek out who is responsible for the seats in the chambers and if it is the council’s, then it would see how much one chair would cost and discuss further from there.
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