CHESHIRE West and Cheshire Council bosses promised the new authority would have a different approach.
A breathe of fresh air is now sweeping the hallowed corridors of County Hall following an edict by chief executive Steve Robinson that all office doors are to be wedged open.
The 1930s designed edifice has wide corridors with large, solid wood doors leading off to many of the rooms.
Those at the front, including spacious offices originally designed for figures such as the chairman of the council and the most senior staff, have views of the River Dee.
Political chief Cllr Mikes Jones (Con, Broxton) and Mr Robinson are spearheading the council’s aspirations to change the way it does its business with fewer managers and streamlined procedures.
“You will be aware of the example the Directors and myself have set by operating from open plan offices,” Mr Robinson told staff.
“I have also asked all Cheshire West and Chester managers to move out of their individual offices and to relocate alongside their staff where this is possible.
“These offices can then be used as meeting rooms where necessary”.
He continued:“To add to this open and approachable culture I would like all remaining office doors to be kept open at all times.
“Clearly this will not apply, for example, where a meeting is taking place.
“This approach will be particularly helpful in buildings like County Hall where a large number of offices are located off the main corridors”.
He insisted:“I do not want to see any of us operating behind closed doors.
“The door to the office in County Hall shared between me and our six Directors and our support staff will, of course, be open in this way”.
To deal with the question of how the large doors should be kept open, Mr Robinson said:“To achieve this objective we have a supply of wedges to keep doors open”.
With County Hall said to need expenditure running into seven figures to bring it up to modern standards, Mr Robinson said:“I will let you know about our longer term approach to accommodation as soon as I can.
“Needless to say this will involve open plan arrangements, together with much more flexible working arrangements, I hope”.
He makes it clear the open door approach does not apply to any rooms occupied solely by East Cheshire staff.
“However, it will be open for any East colleagues occupying offices in the West to adopt this approach should they wish to do so,” he explains.
The approach also applies to other offices occupied by the authority including the former district council headquarters in Ellesmere Port and Winsford.