A SOUTH Gloucestershire councillor has slammed the West of England Combined Authority (Weca) saying they wont move to offices in Yate because of their 'snobbish attitude.'

South Gloucestershire Council cabinet member Cllr Ben Burton has criticised Weca saying rather than use South Gloucestershire council offices on Badminton Road, WECA have decided to spend £8million, on new offices in Redcliffe, Bristol, which is £200,000 a year more than it current figure.

He says the local authority offered Weca a whole floor of its main offices in Yate, next to the new park and ride and a short walk from the train station.

But Weca says it is “essential” to be based in Bristol to recruit and retain staff because more than 90 per cent of its employees live in the city area and most commute by public transport or active travel.

Councillor Burton said: “It is absurd that these proposals would recommend wasting such a massive amount of public money on expensive new offices when there are much more viable and sensible options that should be considered and buses in our region that could be saved by this investment.

“We had put forward a number of local options, including an offer to relocate Weca to our offices in Yate, providing ample room and easy commuting options that would support sustainable travel as well as helping to make working relationships stronger and more effective.

“There seems to be a snobbish attitude towards Yate from a sneering metropolitan-based elite.”

West of England Labour mayor Mr Norris said: “Where staff are based is a matter for civil service bosses who are duty bound to take into account value for money, that over 90 per cent of the staff concerned currently live in Bristol, the commuting patterns across the West of England, and that most existing staff use public transport or walk and cycle to work.”

A report to last week’s cancelled committee meeting said the Redcliffe premises were the cheapest on a shortlist of three buildings, although Yate’s Badminton Road offices were not fully appraised financially, having been deemed “not viable”.

It said Weca would “struggle” to relocate its staff to the Yate council offices, adding: “Asking them to commute to Yate could be difficult. It is our view that we would lose existing staff and struggle to recruit future staff.”

The £8million figure cited by Cllr Burton is the total cost for Redcliff Street over 10 years, including rent, running costs and other expenditure.