According to the Architects the Windows in Great Arthur House will not be replaced in 2013 the new design has not yet been approved by The listed building consent and nothing has been agreed with residents re payment plans ,The whole Project seems to be a complete joke Considering that the Leisure Centre was rubber stamped and completed in a couple of years including several changes to appearance with no problems What do we get ? Another two winters of cold and damp rotting windows and fabric of a building that his been left in a disgusting state of repair . Mr Alderman can you let us all know whats really going on here ? Decent Homes my farce !
Based on what I have heard it may indeed not be until 2014 that the works to GAH are completed, although the replacement of the existing cladding may start very early in 2014 and be finished before year end. The original plan had involved a 2013 completion, so you are right that rather like all City projects I have personal knowledge of, there has been some slippage in the progress of the project. If the (usual) delay means that the extra time is being devoted to getting the end product right, this is time well spent. You may be unlucky if your flat is particularly cold and damp with lots of rot - some flats as I understand it are not nearly so badly off. What is really going on is that the process is working its way to a conclusion - I agree that the programme has slipped, but that is pretty much par for the course with most building projects. And I can well believe that re-skinning the entire east and west facades of GAH is a more challenging job of work than upgrading the Leisure Centre. That said, I had already registered the slippage in the programme - I would have wanted the GAH works to happen over Summer 2013, but despite the fact that is unlikely to happen, I don't think anybody is trying to slow the project down unnecessarily.
The GAH cladding has been the subject of condition reports going back many years, so the understanding that "something must be done" has been there for a long time, and a recent poster has complained over the length of time it will take to finish the project. Have any condition reports been commissioned for Cuthbert Harrowing House? If so, what do they say, and if not, is this because the overall condition is not so poor as to call for a complete re-skinning of the exterior. The GAH cladding issue has been around for a long time, and even the current project has been inching forwards for about 3 years, so not sure why there is now a query about this, compared to other blocks. If they have needs which some feel have been neglected, surely these should be flagged up so a view can be taken about priorities?.
It is my experience from dealing with City Departments in one capacity or another for the last 10 years that the Local Authority projects (nearly) always end up taking longer than anticipated - sometimes much longer. This may partly reflect a difference between Local Authority resources/mentality and private organisations, in which time taken is more of the company's money being spent versus someone else's money being spent (ie taxpayers/long lessees). There are many dimensions to this - if we abolished consultation, no doubt that would speed things up, if mere speed was the overriding priority. I do understand the frustration, and I share it myself to some extent reflecting on the fact that when the project got seriously under way about 3 years ago, the deadline for completion was 2013. I would very happily agree to be shown an example of a cold and wet GAH flat - I do not think that this is the case for every flat in the building. That is not a reason for taking time over the problem flats, but I do think that the overall level of "indecency" is not 100% cold, wet and miserable accommodation - and I am happy as stated to be shown the worst examples to put this in perspective. The professional external (ie private sector) team is now working on this, and has been on the case now for several months, and the recent exhibition in the new R Perrin location shows that the project has been moving forward. I think there is a disadvantage to rushing this now, as we all hope that none of us will need to be around to work on the project for the replacement of the replacement cladding - I hope at least 50 years away, so we should take time to get this right.