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Gresham (and City of London) Almshouses, East Lodge and Communal areas - Refurbishment Works

Report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services.


The Committee received a report of the Director of Community and Children’s Services which sought approval of funding for works to be carried out as part of the Gresham Almshouses.


The Chairman introduced the report advising of a financial shortfall; the Chamberlain, responding advised this report sought authority for works to finish the eight Almshouses, the works were budgeted for in 2016/2017, and there was £40k left in the current budget, but there was a shortfall of £110k and whilst discussions had not yet taken place with the Chairman of the Finance Committee, it would be advisable to seek approval for use of the Finance Committee’s contingency.


In response to a query on the reasons behind there being such a financial deficit, the Chamberlain advised of the procurement exercise undertaken, which included the Almshouses, and would cover a range of items including works to the windows, improved safety measures, a new roof, and heating and insulation improvements, all of which resulted in the uplift of costs. In response to a Member’s comment on the finances, the Chamberlain explained there was an underspend of £30k the previous year within the refurbishment programme which had not been carried forward, but if it had been, the shortfall would have been £81k instead.


A Member commented that before submitting a funding request to the Finance Committee, some investigation may be required as to why the project costs were more than estimated, and why the work to the Gresham Almshouses seemed to cost more than the work to the other Almshouses. The Chamberlain resolved to liaise with the Community and Children’s Services Department on this matter.


Members added that whilst it was important for the works to be carried out to the Almshouses, and they would support the works in principle, background behind the finances was required before the request was made to the Finance Committee.


RESOLVED – That the Committee support the following works in principle, but discussion to take place first with the Chamberlain’s representative and the Community and Children’s Service’s Representative:


·         the appointment of TSG Building Services to carry out internal, external and common parts refurbishment works at the Gresham Almshouses, as part of a wider contract to encompass similar works to the City of London Almshouses (which is subject to approval through a separate gateway 5 report);

·         approval of a total project sum of £150,460;

·         approval of the previous Gateway 4 budget of £3,088 for staff costs to be used to for project management costs up to the completion of the works;

·         approval of a budget of £1,912 for further staff fees;

·         approval of a budget of £2,480 for Quantity Surveyor fees to take project to completion;

·         note the Risk Register that was before Members and a potential mitigated risk budget of £17,600.

Supporting documents:


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