Agenda item

Smithfield Market - Condenser Water Cooling System - Update

Report of the City Surveyor.


The Committee received a report of the City Surveyor updating Members on the cooling system temperature trial.


The City Surveyor reported that further advice had now been sought from the Environment Agency regarding the penalty regime around the unintentional release of refrigerant gas from fridges to atmosphere. Advice had been received to confirm that the penalty here would be a fine or conviction and that the enforcing authority would be the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) or such other authorised persons as it considers appropriate to act for the purpose. He added that the City had now also sent a letter to all Tenants drawing their attention to the regulations, reminding them of their responsibilities in this area and informing them that it intends to carry out inspections of their records within the next two months.


At the request of the Chairman, and for the benefit of the various new Members of the Committee, the City Surveyor provided Members with a brief history of the issues surrounding the Condenser Water Cooling System and some background on the component parts of the current system. The Chairman asked that a comprehensive note on this be provided to all Members of the Committee ahead of the next meeting in July.


In response to questions concerning repairs to the system, the City Surveyor confirmed that funding for this came from the City’s additional works programme and included the replacement of the pumps and the planned replacement, in approximately 2-3 year’s time, of the pipework and, eventually, the replacement of the cooling towers. The City Surveyor went on to clarify that, whilst the City of London Corporation, as landlord, was responsible for operating and maintain the system, tenants were responsible for their own equipment.


In response to further questions around the information contained under ‘Implications’ within the report, the City Surveyor reported that the City had not received any claims from tenants for loss of product since 2002-03.


A Member commented that problems with the system had persisted for over 8 years now and expressed concern at the forthcoming warm weather period approaching where, historically, issues always arose. He added that some tenants had voiced the opinion that the recent unintentional release of refrigerant gas from fridges to atmosphere was due to a West Market pump failure and was therefore the fault of the City as landlord.  He accepted that, should problems persist following the City’s replacements of the pumps, this would be the responsibility of tenants.


RESOLVED – That, Members note the contents of this report.

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