Cambridgeshire County Council to explore possibility of moving out of Shire Hall as part of new review

Shire Hall, Cambridge.

Shire Hall, Cambridge. - Credit: Archant

County councillors have voted in favour of carrying out an investigation into whether Cambridgeshire County Council could move from its Shire Hall base.

At a meeting of the full council on Tuesday (May 10) it was agreed that a review will begin to determine whether the authority should leave the site in Castle Street, Cambridge.

Member for St Ives Councillor Paul Bullen said: “I think this is common sense, really looking at getting out of Cambridge and going elsewhere. This is a common sense agreement in asking for officers to go away and look at what we can do. I am fully in support of it.”

Future uses for the site were put forward at the meeting including a hotel and a world class business centre for the city.

Councillor for Ramsey, Peter Reeve, said: “In the two previous alternative budgets that UKIP produced we were urging not to sell off this jewel in the crown which we still believe this site and this building is but raise revenues off the back of this.

“In the current economic climate I think that this is very forward thinking.”

Some members felt that if the council were to sell off Shire Hall it would be deemed as “flogging off the family silver”.

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Labour councillor Ashley Walsh said: “This is the county town and this is a civic building.

“Flogging off the family silver - would be extremely misguided and we should all do better than this.”

Across the chamber views were put forward about sharing space with other organisations.

Member for The Hemingfords and Fenstanton Councillor Ian Bates said: “I think it is about space and what could be used in other public sector areas, whether it’s the police, whether it’s the fire, whether it is other districts or towns, there is a lot space in the public sector within this county.”