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States spends £3.3m on annual office rent

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THE States spends more than £3.3 million every year renting office space in the Island.

The States HQ in Broad Street – one of the buildings rented by the government Picture: JON GUEGAN. (26040264)

In total the 16 leases that are taken out on buildings cost the taxpayer £3,353,703 annually.

The figures come after Environment Minster John Young said that the States should own one building to house all departments in order to cut down on rental costs.

The government has listed all the offices it rents, which includes its Broad Street unit, which they confirmed costs £1 million per annum.

However, the authorities refused to reveal a breakdown of the rental figures when asked to do so in a freedom of information request.

A government spokeswoman said it was looking to reduce the rental outgoings in the coming years by disposing of some structures to provide the right portfolio.

She said: ‘The leases are taken at market rates for short periods to provide office space for the government because buildings like Cyril Le Marquand house are obsolete, uneconomical and unsafe to patch up and keep in use.

‘A new approach to the management of the public estate is being taken.

‘One of the primary goals is to rationalise the estate, dispose of anachronistic structures and provide the right size, resource efficient flexible portfolio of premises that meet the government’s needs. This will reduce rental outgoings.’

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The offices rented by the government include Gloucester Lodge on Stopford Road, Sea Fisheries Headquarters at Le Quai d’Auvergne, 16 Britannia Place and Eagle House.

Explaining why the information on certain contracts for buildings would not be released, a States spokesman said: ‘The disclosure of this information would prejudice the commercial interests of the Government of Jersey and external landlords, as its release would undermine any competitive position when negotiating new lettings, renewals and rent reviews.

‘It is considered that the likely consequences of disclosure far outweigh the interests of the public in this case.’

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