HALF a million pounds has been 'wasted' by the council servicing one of its unoccupied buildings over four years. 

Around £9,000 a week is spent maintaining the abandoned Christchurch Civic Centre since 2019, it was heard in a council meeting.

The figures were revealed at a full council meeting at Bournemouth Town Hall on Tuesday ahead of a vote to approve selling the offices. 

Christchurch’s councillors questioned why, when the sale goes ahead, the money won't be reinvested in the town. 

Bournemouth Echo: The civic offices in ChristchurchThe civic offices in Christchurch

Christchurch Independent councillor Margaret Phipps said her residents are “fed up” of being left out of funding. 

She said: “Whilst I understand the civic offices need to be sold, I’m just a bit disappointed that all of the sale proceeds are to go to transformation. 

“What about one investment for Christchurch? 

“I am aware that Cllr Andy Martin has twice pointed out at cabinet that Bournemouth and Poole are both getting £20m of investment from levelling up money but Christchurch is getting nothing. 

“This is a Christchurch asset and some of the sale money I believe should be used as investment in Christchurch.” 

Highcliffe and Walkford councillor Andy Martin said the funding is “not just needed for the republic of Highcliffe, but the whole of Christchurch”. 

He added he looks forward to money coming its way when the transformation is finished. 

Bournemouth Echo: Pix by Sally Adams  22/8/12    cCivicoffices4.Christchurch Civic Offices, Bridge Street, Christchurch. Plans are underway to possibly move all staff from Christchurch council to East Dorset or vice versa in a bid to save money..

Cllr Mike Cox, portfolio holder for finance, said the civic offices cost the authority “thousands of pounds every week”. 

He said: “We’ve already wasted £500,000 of taxpayers' money servicing an empty building. Time is up. We need to sell it and yes, we do need it for transformation. 

“I do hear Cllr Martin and Cllr Phipps suggestions about having it spent in Christchurch, but unfortunately that’s not how local government works. 

“If we sell a building, it’s for the benefit of everybody within that council and unfortunately when we come to sell Poole Civic Centre, then that will go to benefit the whole of BCP not just Poole.” 

The civic office was formally closed to the public and staff in December 2021 as part of the authority's goals to bring its services together. 

It had previously stood as the head office for the now-defunct Christchurch and East Dorset Council, which ceased when Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole merged in April 2019.