Agenda item

Barbican Estate Office Review

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


The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director, Community and Children’s Services, in respect of the Independent Review of the Barbican Estate Office by Housing Consultancy, Altair, which concluded in May 2023. 


The Chair reminded Members of the City Corporation’s Target Operating Model (TOM), which started in 2021 and sought to achieve 12% savings.   The BRC had considered the operation of the car park, as part of these savings, but had not proposed any car park box closures.   However, by October 2021, significant concerns resulted in a public residents’ meeting, which raised further issues about the fabric of the Estate more generally.  Residents were clearly very passionate about the work of the car park attendants, which goes way beyond their job descriptions, in terms of their commitment to residents’ safety and security on the Barbican Estate. 

Members noted that these views resulted in the review before them today for endorsement.  The process had been led by a group of members, residents, officers and the new Executive Director of Community and Children’s Services.   Members also noted the Executive Director’s forward to the report and that the Transformation Action Plan would be a standing agenda item, with updates to all future  BRC/RCC meetings.    The Executive Director welcomed the review as it presented an opportunity for a ‘reset’.  Members also noted that the next ‘All City’ Residents Meeting would take place on 12th October 2023.

During the discussion, the following points were noted:

a)       The Executive Director advised that a recruitment process for a new Head of the Barbican Estate Office is underway; the Job Evaluation had been approved and head hunters were in place to start the process, with an appointment expected in November this year.   The Director had also considered capacity more generally within the team and would be recruiting two additional posts.

b)       Members noted another piece of work, in parallel to this, to ensure that social housing tenants are equally well served, and this would be the subject of a report to the next Community and Children’s Services Committee.

c)       The Chair recommended that Item 9 on the Agenda, the Transformation Programme and Action Plan, should be considered alongside this report.  The RCC had noted that the plan is still in draft, and suggested refinements to include timelines and milestones for the various workstreams.  The Executive Director agreed to this request, which would be ready for the residents’ meeting on 12th October and formally presented to the RCC and BRC meetings in November/December.  

d)       Members were reminded that the BRC is still due to merge into a new Housing Committee but this is not imminent and the Committee’s input is still very relevant at this stage. 

Members then noted the following resolution from the RCC and it was RESOLVED, that – the following be noted and agreed. </AI1>




The RCC strongly supports the proposal and the reasons and justification for the Repairs Function to report to the Head of the Barbican Estate Office. For identical reasons, it considers that major works and cyclical programmes should come under the same management. The artificial distinction between repairs and major projects leads to poor performance.


Over the next 30 years Barbican residents will be spending around £20+m each year on fabric interventions and this work and expenditure can be most effectively managed by officers reporting to the Head of the Barbican Estate Office, rather than with split responsibilities, which is also out of line with any other  facilities management operations.




1.    The report and the independent review of the Barbican Estate Office be noted.


2.    The key themes identified by Altair during the review of the Barbican Estate Office be noted.


3.    The operational matters already underway in response to the Barbican Estate Office Review be noted.


4.    The Action Plan be agreed for implementation.


Supporting documents: