Saturday, 11 February 2012

Tenbury Bridge Work 5 Down, 5 to Go

Well, we are half way through the Tenbury Teme Bridge refurbishment.  There is less visible progress this week but the strong smell of solvents coming from the tenting probably means that things are happening out of view.
Many of the damaged blocks under the arches have now been replaced, and I can confirm that there are definitely large salmon in the Teme. (Either that or I sniffed too much solvent)  A large fish broke water under the arch just after I took the photo.  It had gone before I could take another!

Harriett Baldwin MP &  County Cllr Ken Pollock were visiting shopkeepers today to discuss the project.


Ian said...

Should we be concerned that WCC's tendering process encompassed the possibility of spending nearly twice as much on the bridge repairs? There is a massive difference between its budget and the actual cost! Is our money really safe with these people?

@WR15 said...

I know for some jobs there are published book rates to use as guidelines.

I wonder if on this occasion WCC (& therefore us a charge payers) have benefited from the state of the economy and reduced cost for the job.

I know that extended hours and weekend working were ruled out by the contractor because they don't have enough staff available, and perhaps we have got those staff that are left at a reduced rate so that the contractor can keep them (& their skills) on the books.

Ian said...

That's possible - but it is a VERY large difference!

Ian said...

And don't forget they also got the timescale rather badly
wrong - even without extended hours and weekend working!

Ian said...

Your second photograph appears to show a great deal of damaged stonework and open joints. Are these to be repaired too?

Cllr Ken Pollock said...

There is an understandable confusion about the figures for the cost of refurbishing the bridge. The £1.1 million is the cost of the whole job, while the £625,000 is the cost of the Volker-Fitpatrick contract to repair the bridge itself. The difference is made up in part by the costs of the preliminary investigations in the spring, the design work done by Halcrow, and the various other costs incurred by the Council in the whole project - including the use of the car park areas.
In this regard, it would be fair to say that the initial statements about costs being over £1million were not far wrong.

the_bumblebee said...

Things are getting worse at the town's badminton club.. We're losing money hand over fist as we need to pay for pre-booked courts but no longer have the income to do so (courtesy of bridge closure and the dangerous backlanes putting many members off attending).

We're now actively considering closing one of our two usual club nights (tues eve) in the short term until the bridge is re-instated. To break even we may have to scale-down our friday evening commitments to about half too.. It'd be a sad loss if we did so as tuesdays is the night that we have our younger contingent attend and we want to encourage them where possible.

We're trying to be proactive though too and will be looking to promote the club nights in local media if the remaining diminishing club funds stretch to it..

It's a real shame as for many years we've had a vibrant, mixed local club with people of all ages and abilities playing. Attends and related earnings have simply dropped off a cliff since bridge closure and the back lane diversions were put in place though.

Click my link to see the club's details.

Ian said...

Thank you Cllr Polllock for the clarification.

Welsh Wizard said...

WR15... I know its not in line with the thread but i thourght i would share this with your readers.
Ref: planning appeals. You have in the past quoted that the tax payer would burden all the cost if Tesco won on appeal .This does not semm to be the case.

A planning consultant advises: "There is no question of the Council being 'fined' if the case goes to appeal. Costs are only awarded against Councils if their reasons for refusal are frivolous, and this of course not the case. However, the Council will incur their own costs for staff time in preparing the case, for paying consultants to support the case and for expert legal representation if that is decided upon. The council's legal team could decide to shoulder the advocacy but if it were me I would advise the appointment of a planning barrister, because Tesco will certainly employ one. These sort of costs are perfectly normal and the Council should already have a contingency for appeals, which are going on all the time. If supporters raise this at the Council meeting I would expect the Council's legal officers to put the record straight."

@WR15 said...

I'd have to read back through all the threads, but certainly my current understanding concurs with yours.

Any objection must be valid, so Cllrs cannot cite economic vitality which contradicts their own expert opinion, they can't cite traffic if it contradicts the highway authority etc.

I think (from memory) the biggest risk with an appeal is any S106 agreement or conditions, can be set aside, but effectively the inspector can make up his/her own mind what is reasonable.