A multi-faith prayer room is at the centre of a row at County Hall after Lancashire County Council was accused of allowing it to fall into damp disrepair, while spending millions of pounds refurbishing other parts of the building.
One worker has claimed that the conditions Muslim workers have to pray in are not even fit for animals to be in.
Describing the facility as a dark and dingy cellar, without windows or ventilation, he said: “For years it has had a problem of water penetration due to rain and hence the room suffers from rising damp, wet carpet and mould on the walls and furniture.”
He said while praying they have to contend with “the damp stench and the indignity of getting their socks and clothes wet due to the damp carpets.
“Despite millions of pounds being spent on developing a new conference centre and upgrading numerous buildings to bring them up to modern standards, nothing whatsoever has been done in the last five years to remedy the multi-faith room.”
The worker, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: “It honestly is such a sad indictment for an employer of the likes of Lancashire County Council that it gives a room such as this for their Muslim employees to pray in.”
Citing a recent decision by councillors to ban halal meat from county schools unless animals are stunned before slaughter, he said it was ironic, adding: “It would no doubt be deemed cruelty to animals if such room was used by animals, let alone humans for the purpose of worship.”
Clare Joynson, Head of Facilities Management for Lancashire County Council, said: “We were already aware of an issue affecting this room, and we have provided a temporary space for people to use, while repair work is carried out to remedy the problem.
“Other problems have been fixed whenever we’ve become aware.”