The Committee agreed to consider item 5i ahead of other reports to allow for the City Surveyor to depart the meeting early. It was therefore considered as item 3b.
The City Surveyor introduced a report on proposed bids for the Additional Work Programme 2015/16 (AWP). He noted that these were cyclical works and recent examples included renovations to the tennis courts at Parliament Hill; renovations to the Parliament Hill Changing Rooms. He added that there were plans to renovate the shelter in the Hill Garden, and that planned works to the Belvedere in the Hill Garden had been delayed following the discovery of nesting bats.
He went on to clarify that the proposed bids for 2015/16 had not yet been approved, and represented an ideal list of works that had varying levels of priority. Proposed works included work on the paddling pool and more work to the Parliament Hill Athletics Track. He concluded by noting that the City Surveyor’s Department worked closely with Hampstead Heath staff in drawing up planned works. He stressed that whilst works were cyclical in character, improvement works could be incorporated into the planned programme. Lastly he noted that all projects were drawn from the overall 20-year maintenance plan for the Heath.
Colin Gregory noted that it was difficult to respond to the request to comment on the proposed bids, given the bids before the Committee did not have any indication of their relative priority. For example, the Committee were not sure which of the 2014/15 projects would be proceeding. Moreover, it was difficult to gauge whether the £100k bid for works to the Pergola represented the minimum needed to bring it up to standard, or if more monies were required to do so. The City Surveyor replied that any projects that were not accepted in each annual bid could be deferred to the following year, and that the Pergola would be the subject of a dedicated report that would be coming before the Committee. The Chairman added that feedback on the sums secured could be reported to the Committee.
In response to a question from Richard Sumray regarding what represented an ideal amount to be secured for 2015/16, the City Surveyor replied that the cyclical nature of the works meant that the ideal sum varied from year to year and that low priority projects could, as noted previously, be deferred until a following year.
In response to a question from John Hunt regarding the possibility of works associated with the Hampstead Heath Ponds Project being extended to include buildings associated with the Men’s and Mixed Bathing Ponds, the City Surveyor replied that the City of London would not want the buildings to deteriorate, and therefore he would be consulting with the Superintendent on the issue.
In response to a comment from John Hunt that the paddling pool had been the subject of works a couple of years previously, the City Surveyor replied that this had indeed been the case but that the surface of the pool was now cracking and therefore it was proposed to install a rubberised surface to make the pool surface more resilient.
In response to a question from Gaye Henson regarding which ponds were subject to the £50k bid for dredging, the City Surveyor replied that this was for ponds outwith the scope of the Ponds Project.
In response to a request from Ian Harrison, the City Surveyor agreed that future AWP bid reports would include a map. The Superintendent concluded the item by noting that overall the bids represented good news for the Heath – the bids represented a three-year funding cycle and therefore any monies not spent could be carried over into future years.