COUNCIL bosses are to spend more than £25,000 repairing railings which present a health and safety hazard at Bury Town Hall.

Balcony railings on the first floor of the Neo-Georgian building date back to when it was first opened in 1954.

And a survey of the feature, carried out by engineers last December, ruled that they not only presented a risk to anyone using the balconies but any staff passing underneath.

Radcliffe-based Girling Engineering has now been commissioned to upgrade the railings at the four main corner blocks and front elevation of the town hall.

A council spokesman said in a decision notice: "All the railing to varying degrees are suffering corrosion but mainly to the horizontal wrought-iron carriage rails.

"Corrosion is also apparent to the support feet that hold the railings off the balcony floor deck and into the feet located in sockets also to the top rail wall fixing positions.

"There is also evidence of previous patch repairs and in few cases plastic cable ties are holding the top handrail onto the carriage frame.

"Overall the railings have deteriorated to the point that the majority are a health and safety risk because of their condition, weight and position above the ground of the

key metal location points.

"This presents a risk for anyone going on to the balconies, but also any members of staff/public who may be underneath balconies."

An initial budget of £20,000 had been allocated but it is anticipated savings can be made from not having to replace balcony doors.

The move comes as approval has also been given to repaint various ground floor corridors of the town hall, to support 'agile working' by council officials, and the creation of 'hot desk' provisions.