Councillors '˜won't make a penny' out of plans to move Sunderland Civic Centre to Vaux site, promises council leader

Councillors and their officers will 'not make a penny' out of any move from its current site to the Siglion-led former Vaux plot.

Wednesday, 10th October 2018, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th October 2018, 4:54 pm
Coun Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council.

Sunderland City Council leader Graeme Miller has said shifting its headquarters from its existing home to the plot on the banks of the River Wear is in dire need because the 1970s-built complex is no longer fit for purpose.

Related: It may be the city’s ugliest building but Sunderland Civic Centre must be spared the bulldozersThe council leader says the Vaux project, which is being run by Siglion, is a prime plot for the new base as the council works to build on the city centre’s economic worth and job market, but that no financial gain will be made for the authority.

It has said keeping the civil service jobs in the city and creating a housing estate to give more people a place to live in its centre is paramount for the future of Sunderland.

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Coun Miller said: “Councillors sit on the board of Siglion, it’s an unpaid position, there are no expenses or remuneration for any councillor that sits, nor any officer.

“Because of the way local authorities work and given that it’s a outside venture, it must have councillors and officers on the board to access the investment that can only be made with the help of private sector business.

“We get no money and me and other councillors will not make a penny out of this building.

“People will assume council officers and councillors are corrupt as the day is long and it’s terrible what people say on social media, it’s slur on the council’s hard work on the several hundred services.”

He added the council had worked hard to rebuild the area’s job market in the wake of the closures brought about by the Conservative government during previous decades.

“In 1975 to 1989, under the Conservative government, it brought about the closure of the ship building yards, steel, mining and glassworks.

“It ripped ut the hear out of Sunderland and brought down 20,000 jobs.

“This council, from 1989 to 2009 did an excellent job of finding those 20,000 jobs and replaced them with other skills.

“It brought them through Nissan and the supply chain, Doxford Park and Rainton Bridge.

“But what we did was build a donut with a hole in the city centre and that’s what we are trying to fix, so it is so important that the Vaux site flies.”