There's a surprise waiting inside for local residents calling in at Penarth Town council's HQ at West House

There’s a surprise waiting for local residents calling in at Penarth Town Council’s HQ at West House – …and it’s not just the illuminated snowman snowperson

There are a couple of surprises in store for members of the public who call in now at Penarth Town Council’s headquarters at West House in Stanwell Road – and no,  it’s nothing to do with the illuminated snowperson standing outside in the cold .

When anyone walks towards the main entrance, the two double-doors open inwards automatically to beckon them in – without the customary need to apply a hefty shove on the Victorian brass fingerplates.  An infra-red beam detects anyone coming up the path towards the building and the automatic system pulls open the doors without the council having to employ a concierge to do the job.

The new lift in Penarth Town Council's offices at West House has just been installed - in time for Christmas

The new “cabin lift” in Penarth Town Council’s offices at West House has just been installed – in time for Christmas

Another boon for local council-tax payers is a brand new “cabin lift” – which will make it a lot easier to get upstairs to reach the staff working in the main council offices on the first floor  – especially for wheelchair users , for parents with prams and for anyone for whom climbing the stairs of West House could be a formidable challenge.

The total cost of internal modifications – including the new lift – was  £32,083 . However council documents state that “overall £100,000 can be realised in earmarked reserves for these works in total “.

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