Saturday 1 April 2023
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Government under fire from Nottingham MPs over ‘Christmas Tree’ HMRC building

A Government department has been branded a “disgrace” by Nottingham politicians for leaving its office lights on outside normal working hours.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) opened its Unity Square tower block close to Nottingham Station in April, and it is now home to thousands of staff working across numerous Government departments.

However those living and working in the city say it is consistently “lit up like a Christmas tree”, and questioned how much HMRC is spending on its energy bills.

Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood says she has written to chancellor Jeremy Hunt to highlight the concerns surrounding the office block, which sits in her constituency.

She said: “A series of Parliamentary Questions are now winging their way to the chancellor asking about this issue. Answers should arrive back on Monday.

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“I’ve been past when not all floors are lit but it does appear that lights are left on unnecessarily. I could have written to the head of HMRC but Written Parliamentary Questions seemed a quicker way to get answers – and Ministers’ attention to the issue.”

Nottingham City Councillor Sally Longford, the portfolio holder for environment, who represents Lenton and Wollaton East, tweeted to say it was a “disgrace”.

A HMRC spokesperson said it has security guards and contractors who regularly work in the building outside office hours.

The department said: “Unity Square is a new building. We are still in a period of fine tuning our control systems.

“We expect this work to be completed shortly and the lights, which are fitted with sensors which are motion activated, will be reprogrammed to remain on for a reduced amount of time after the last detected movement and there will be a reduced number of lights being activated outside office hours.

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