9:43am Tuesday 19th March 2013
I FEEL compelled to respond to Mr Geoff Cooper’s letter (Echo, February 22).
While it is not my place to make comment on the financial efficiency of other public sector services, I feel it appropriate to reassure residents that the work being undertaken at the site of the former Imax is being done in the most cost-effective way possible. Mr Cooper suggests that our procurement processes have increased costs and that we should have simply phoned local demolition companies to get the job done. I am afraid this grossly under-estimates the complexity of this project, which has three different elements that require careful co-ordination: strengthening of the ground floor slab; the careful deconstruction of the existing building; and the creation of a new public events area.
We did, of course, consider the direct employment of sub-contractors but having carefully weighed the costs and risks, we decided to tender for a single main contractor and subsequently appointed Interserve Construction Limited following a competitive process. This over-arching contract has the benefit of a fixed price, it safeguards the council against unforeseen costs and we benefit from the cost-effective procurement of quality sub-contractors.
We are now making every effort to make sure this important project is delivered both on time and on budget.
ROGER BALL Service Director, Technical
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