Saturday, June 18, 2005

A new office

The other advantage of going away is that I was absent from Westminster when the staff had to pack up everything for our move from Norman Shaw North (the old Scotland Yard building) to Portcullis House (PCH). All I can say is that if the offices in PCH really cost a million pounds each then someone, somewhere, is having a laugh. I can't quite see it...

Staff are very nice but are being very proscriptive about the sort of furniture we can have. At the moment we are only allowed desk and chair plus either two comfy arm chairs or a "cirular formal meeting table and four chairs". What most of us want (and many longer standing occupiers have) is the table and chairs and one comfy arm chair (there is plenty of room). I have been told that the Serjeant at Arms is now enforcing the rules rigidly but I do question what has happened to all of the surplus furniture which has apparently been taken out of the offices.

Finding a place for everything has proved interesting - even switching everything on was something of a challenge. I arrived to discover a disfunctional fridge and it took 20 mins to trace the socket. My vase has completely disappeared and the phones did not work (bear in mind here that they only move six MPs a day). Having raised the grumbles it was clear that the staff were trying hard so it was impossible to be too cross.

Still not completely settled in but things are coming along and the newoffice is actually quite nice.