OPPOSITION councillors have slammed the leadership of BCP council for not being told beforehand about the bid to buy Barclays House in Poole

Last week, the Echo revealed BCP council had put in a bid to buy the Poole building, with Barclays giving the council an exclusivity period to explore the purchase of the estate. 

If the acquisition were to follow through, the council would own the former Barclays Building, the 1,100-space car park and other potential sites surrounding it.

Councillor Drew Mellor, leader of BCP Council said in a statement to the Daily Echo last week: "We are absolutely committed to the rejuvenation of Poole, with a number of exciting opportunities in Poole coming through the council soon, and this presents a further interesting dynamic in that rejuvenation. 

“There is a tremendous amount of due diligence to follow as we explore this opportunity, however it could clearly represent an exciting opportunity to have control of a key strategic Poole town centre site to support regeneration, with a number of potential uses for the current building and beyond for the council and other stakeholders."

He said further studies would be undertaken before asking the council to make any decisions.

Cllr Lesley Dedman, of the Christchurch Independents Group and on the scrutiny committee, criticised the council’s leadership for failing to consult councillors.

She said: “We knew nothing about it as councillors.

“I think it just says the culture of BCP.

“There are a lot of things being done in there by the leadership, not even by the cabinet. 

Bournemouth Echo: Barclays House in PooleBarclays House in Poole

“Where we are progressing to doesn’t seem to have any relevance to running a council.  

“It seems to be running what the leadership wants to do.” 

Cllr Dedman added: “It’s frightening the way BCP has been taken. 

“The council is going in a terrible direction. I’ve been on five councils now and I’ve never known any to work like this.” 

Read more: BCP Council is looking to buy Barclays House in Poole

Former BCP leader Vikki Slade also criticised the council’s leadership, adding: “There’s no strategy behind it (Barclays House acquisition). The councillors have been denied any conversation about this.

“Drew Mellor has talked about this collegiate style of leadership he has, but it’s commander in control.  

“It’s like Boris Johnson; when he comes up with a ridiculous idea, his team all jump at it." 

Cllr Slade described the current BCP leadership as “chaotic, authoritarian and desperate”. 

Bournemouth Echo: BCP leadership has been described as "chaotic"BCP leadership has been described as "chaotic"

Creekmoor councillor Judes Butt welcomed the council’s idea to buy Barclays House. 

“Having a central Poole building to house all back office staff and other services would l believe be a positive for all Poole residents,” she told the Echo.

“It could significantly reduce travel costs and vehicle emissions too, as it’s located near to the bus and train stations and cycle infrastructure.  

“It lends itself to conveniently located staffed reception centres for drop in and face to face meetings for the public.”