Political

Liberal Democrats move out of Great George Street HQ

With accidental but poetic timing, on the day new MP Sarah Green was sworn in at Parliament, the Liberal Democrats moved out of our old HQ in Great George Street.

Great George Street was the party’s second HQ, after Cowley Street, and earlier today the final departure was made:

Lib Dem office in Great George Street emptied out

As I wrote in my March report back to party members:

This year the vast majority of HQ staff have been working from home. They have told us that post-lockdowns, splitting their working week between home and office is their preference. We support them in that choice of doing their work, their way. This has allowed us to secure a smaller office space which will considerably lower our costs.

We have found a space that will give us the flexibility to expand into a general election operation without having to relocate. That will be a major benefit given the Conservative plans to scrap the Fixed Term Parliaments Act and return us to the days of having to anticipate when a Prime Minister may spring a snap election on everyone without warning.

Farewell, Great George Street.

Note: post will be forwarded for quite some time, so don’t worry about any letter you’ve just posted or any materials you have with the Great George Street address on them.

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9 responses to “Liberal Democrats move out of Great George Street HQ”

  1. I couldn’t let your statement “return us to the days of having to anticipate when a Prime Minister may spring a snap election on everyone without warning” go without comment. Since the Fixed Term Parliaments Act became law two out of the three general elections have been snap elections. The Fixed Term Parliaments Act doesn’t work.

    • The 2019 election, although an early one, was not a surprise one pulled on a date without other parties being able to prepare in advance. Even in 2017, it was a very long campaign from the surprise news to polling day – so again, it was less snap than it looks at first glance.

  2. The one thing that you don’t say is where the new office is. How will volunteers know where to go? Or is the new Party plan to do everything with paid help? Co-locating with ALDC at Salford Quays would have been a sensible move, but I suspect that the new office is within London and conveniently placed for the Houses of Parliament.

    • Yes, being located near Parliament – so Parliamentary staff can also use the office – was an important consideration. Volunteers will very much be welcome in the new office, though I believe that due to coronavirus safety risks, that’s going to be a bit of a while away. Nearly all staff are still working from home, for example.

  3. What is the new address? and has the phone number changed? I see that the Party website still has Great George Street at the bottom.

    • Due to coronavirus lockdown and safety restrictions, the new office isn’t fully opening immediately (e.g. most staff have been working from home). Hence the absence of a big splash about ‘here’s our new office and address!’. Due to post forwarding, there’s no problem with the old address appearing on stuff, just as the previous Cowley Street address was ok to have on old items in stock for a good long while after we moved from there.

  4. Hi Mark. You still haven’t said where the new HQ will be, and you have reassured us that post will be forwarded, so it is right to assume that the address cannot be made known yet for some reason? Seems very odd, and very mysterious! Maybe it’s a few days grace that’s needed for fitting out and setting up? If so, that would make sense.

  5. No longer secret – the new address is on the footer of the Party’s main web page, and any other recent pages too.
    So we’ve moved from the classical Cowley Street with its impressive front but pokey rabbit warren inside, to the smart modern building in George Street, and now to a new building with no interesting features at all. I gather (via Google) that the Party will be on the top floor of the building.
    Still, it’s not far from the Royal Horticultural Society hall, where I remember going to some splendid wine tastings in pre-Covid years. Maybe staff can get tickets in future years 🙂

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