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Cheshire West council 'should sell HQ for £20m', say Tories

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Image caption The council bought Chester's HQ building for £18.8m in 2009

Cheshire West and Chester Council should sell its headquarters six years after moving in, the Conservatives have said.

The authority moved into its newly-built Chester offices in 2010 when it was run by the Tories.

Labour said it will review "a number of options" on council properties, which may include a sale of its HQ.

Mike Jones of the Conservatives said selling the building would "protect the services Labour are slashing".

Cheshire West and Chester Council purchased the city centre offices on Nicholas Street for £18.8m in 2009.

The same year, the authority sold its former County Hall base to the University of Chester for £10.3m.

'Responsible decision'

The current Labour administration is proposing to review social care, libraries and parking charges as part of plans to save £57.3m by 2020.

The Labour councillor responsible for finance, David Armstrong, said: "We are reviewing a number of options around all the buildings we own across the borough. HQ is clearly one of them.

"We will make a responsible decision, but we are actively looking at it."

He added it would be "foolish" to make statements about the building's value.

Opposition leader Mike Jones said selling the HQ building for "at least" £20m would prevent charges being introduced on free car parks and enable council tax to be kept low.

Labour controls the council with a slender majority of one.

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