DRY rot in the roof of St Helens Town Hall’s chamber will cost £400,000 to repair.

The huge bill comes after the local authority has been forced to impose its biggest ever budget cuts of £28.1 million following the Tory-Lib Dem Government’s austerity measures.

The outbreak of dry rot at St Helens Council’s headquarters was discovered in the main roof beam between the council chamber and the assembly hall balcony.

Councillors have been told that the repair work “will be complex”.

It will involve the use of extensive scaffolding, together with the replacement of windows within the assembly hall, and redecoration and recarpeting of the council chamber.

A request is being made for £400,000 from the Service Modernisation Fund to pay for the work.

A council spokesman, said: “Essential, specialist repair work on the ceiling of the council chamber and assembly hall balcony will have to be carried out soon to deal with the effects of wet and dry rot.

“Affected areas include oak wall panels and one of the main roof trusses.

“This work is unconnected with the refurbishment carried out seven years ago in the main assembly room, which involved the installation of a new floor, redecoration and rewiring.”