Malting & Brewster Houses Structural work

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The Mayor and Cabinet of Tower Hamlets will be agreeing a plan for the structural repair of the Malting and Brewster Houses on Wednesday 25th March 202o.

You can click the links below to find the NEW papers the Cabinet will be basing their decisions on.

 

These are the questions Cllr King has submitted about these papers with the answers from the council included:

Does this all come out of the existing Capital fund? Will it come out of reserves? What would happen with any adjustment? Surely the government would contribute to such a massive work? The costs of the works is funded from the HRA Capital programme, this will be clearly set out in the Cabinet report.  No external grants are available and whilst the Mayor’s office has written to MHCLG seeking additional financial support for leaseholds he has yet to receive a response. The Mayor will write again to SoS in advance of the Cabinet meeting on 25th March.  I will make sure you have a copy of that.

£2.2m is essentially the management fee. Is there a breakdown of what staff resourcing will look like?There is a THH site team cost breakdown within the Cabinet report at section 7.

POST DESCRIPTION COST
Project Management £279,500
Surveying £140,000
Resident Liaison Coordinator £98,000
Decant Coordinator 61,430
Total £578,930 

How is the £0.62m contingency calculated? (12.6) All contingencies are estimated and are based on possible additional work that may be needed.

What would the desktop breakdown of the additional decants be? I think additional/longer decants will be required over the lifetime of the work so it would be useful to know the cost. This work is currently ongoing and we are preparing for such scenario where additional decant properties will be held in reserve, we currently hold 32 properties which are being mapped to residents requirements. Where possible decant properties will be used on a rotational basis rather than longer term moves.

 

Why is the council not capping the liability for leaseholders? It usually does on such big works. Local authorities are normally required to apply a CAP when all or some of the works are funded via grant. Previously high bills in Tower Hamlets were capped to £15,000 as works were carried out under the decent homes programme.  That work was part funded via GLA grant. There is no grant or external funding attached to this programme of works.

4.8 says negotiations have gone on with Wates. Have any other contractors been indicatively consulted to see if a full tender process would garner better value for money? 12.1 says Wates will be subcontracting this to either Bersche-Rolt or Cintec. Has the council spoken with either of them about the scope of works? The Better Neighbourhood Framework has just been tendered and the cheapest contractor is Wates. In order to ensure that the specialist element of work was market tested Wates were instructed to carry out a competitive tender exercise. Two companies Bersche Rolt and Cinteq submitted pricing and design. These were evaluated by Wates, THH Staff and Wilde Carter Clack. Bersche Rolt were successful as they provided the best design solution and at the cheapest price.   A review of the pricing of the contract has been carried out by Potter Raper on behalf of the Council. They have determined the prices are reasonable.

 

Will there be any mitigation cost for the decant? Will there be any for the other mitigation for tenants?A decant property will provide a like for like alternative accommodation for periods of occupation during the works. Moving costs will be covered through the project costs.  There are provisions within the project costs for Resident Disturbance: Decanting; Temporary Accommodation; Respite facilities and rehousing.

Would the council agree that this is an exceptional set of circumstances, and thus doesn’t set a precedent for future works in the borough? The capital programme is informed by an assessment of the stock conditions. This is an ongoing process and as and when capital work is identified, or legislation or guidance indicates works in certain areas then the HRA capital programme will be adjusted accordingly to assess the best use of its resources to meet the capital investment needed across the stock.  The Council cannot rule out the possibility of undertaking large scale major works to other blocks in the borough. What it can do is to reflect on the payment options available to leaseholders in this situation. The Council has already agreed to review

When is the next round of Decent Homes work due for Malting & Brewster?If it is relatively soon, could this be brought forward as a sign of good faith? Windows are due to be renewed in approx. 10 years time. We investigated undertaking these works at this time and determined they should last another 10 years.

Arup identified potential problems with Malting’s foundations. Can this be further investigated during the work?Arup have pointed out that the piles and raft foundations are not fully code complaint, though this assumption is incorrect as they later indicated that there should be a factor of greater than 1 on normal vertical loadings, Malting House has a fact of 1.5 and Brewster House a factor of 3. As there is no evidence of movement or any structural defects in connection with the foundations, and there are only two main ways of testing piles, which are both prohibited by site condition constraints, no further investigations will be carried in this area.

Do you have your own questions? Please email Cllr King on james@limehouselabour.co.uk or fill in the form below.

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