Question from: County Councillor Karen Laurie-Parry Subject: Y Gaer
I would like to highlight that the face to face discussion, I had with the former Director, prompted me, upon hearing of his early retirement, to request a written confirmation of our discussion. These took place in March and early April, 2018 not 2019.
As Y Gaer, was intended for Museum, Arts & Library, a Cultural Hub for Powys, please can I ask, I note you say The Management Board meets regularly. Can I ask, who is the Chairperson and others who sit on Y Gaer Project Board and what is the date, that the Contracted Construction Company and the Project Management Company have agreed to complete their contractual work.
As there were latter delays in construction, be it not being able to obtain stone, due to the puffins breeding ground and I also understand oakwood for outdoor furniture from France. These two delays, should have been foreseen in the project management forecast.
With these delays in mind, are the two delay costs included in the fixed sum you have stated of £9.65m in July, 2018. What was the overall cost incurred, up until July, 2018 and does that include the overspend at that time.
Most contractors engaging in large project work, have to sign a Time Penalty Clause should there be a delay. Can I ask was such a Time Penalty Clause built into the Signed Contract, thereby presumably enabling by law, for reimbursement of any payments already made and/or ending all subsequent payments.
I know, the former Director was seen in County Hall, on Monday or Tuesday of this week. The former Director, before retiring, had said that “All reasons would be forensically examined, to consider where fault lies and the former Director, even offered to remain available, to Powys County Council, to assist with any background information, for as long as is required”. Please, are Powys, going to accept the former Director’s kind offer to assist in the forensic analysis and particularly, with any background information.
On a positive note, to undertake a forensic analysis, could possibly result in clawing back much needed finance for the Authority, towards lessening the Anticipated Financial Squeeze and if not at least create confidence in Powys management.
Response by the Portfolio Holder:
The y Gaer Project Board, currently meets monthly and receives regular progress updates in between meetings. The Chair of the Project Board is Cllr Rachel Powell.
The membership includes: -
Councillor Rachel Powell
Councillor Rosemarie Harris
Councillor Phyl Davies
Councillor James Evans
John M Evans
The contractual completion date is dependent on all aspects of the construction contracted works having been completed. At present there are outstanding construction elements and we don’t have a confirmed completion date.
There have been no delays to either the y Gaer project or the Captain’s Walk Gardens project as a result of not being able to obtain oak material. There have been delays experienced on the y Gaer construction programme due to the supply of Alsecco stone cladding material and the subsequent fabrication and installation of the cladding to the building exterior. This delay was caused by a third party supplier (to Kier) and was influenced by the availability of material (due to quarrying restrictions), the complexity of design and the supplier’s own programming, and as such could not have been foreseen prior to the event by the Project Management Board. There has been no cost incurred by the Council due to the delay described above, since it has occurred during the fixed contract sum period.
As previously stated, once the construction work on y Gaer is complete, attention will turn to reviewing the project; this will include colleagues from Legal and Procurement in order to work through the contract. The review will put forward appropriate recommendations/learning for future action.