This report provides the Committee with an update on the Civic Campus Programme – the redevelopment of Hammersmith Town Hall and West King Street.
This report has appendices containing information exempt within the meaning of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and are not for publication.
Any discussions on the contents of an exempt appendix will require the Committee to pass the proposed resolution identified at the end of the agenda to exclude members of the public and the press from the proceedings for that discussion.
The meeting expressed its disappointment that the Deloitte report on West King Street Renewal Financial Review of Proposed Transaction was classified as exempt. It was not happy that the requested information was not circulated to Members on time. If the Committee was going to undertake its overview role, in future it must see all reports within a reasonable time.
Members expressed their concerns at the absence of any officer from The Economy department to answer questions and discuss this project. The lack of attendance was an indication that the Council had a significant key person dependency on only two senior officers.
During the discussions, the Committee asked why the JV contract had not been signed, how the risks (bar financial) identified in the Deloitte’s report have been mitigated, and why the signing of the contract was not included in the progress chart. A lack of information on these key issues raise red flags and indicated that the project was not going to be completed on-time or on-budget completion. The Committee thanked Hitesh and Emily for stepping in and noted that they were not expected to field questions outside of their remit.
The Committee were informed that the demolition was in progress and there is an expectation that the JV contract will be signed within a couple of days. Procurement was underway and bids had been received and were being evaluated. In terms of finance, the Council is putting £25m equity into the partnership and a separate decision had been made to buy the commercial units. This will give us a better control of the development and raise income for the Council.
In response to Members questions, it was noted that both parties are continuing at risk without contracts signed. The critical programme stages are the decant, demolition and construction.
Members stressed that the exchange of contracts were critical success factors. They expressed concerns that these were not finalised. The information given to members lacked the risk assessment or risk register. Currently, the committee does not have the necessary information to provide the required oversight. The committee is expected to have a comprehensive programme timeline, major dependences – suppliers, contracts, financial plans etc, and risk analysis and mitigating factors. Without these, the programme is proceeding at risk. Members were reassured that the council has in house experienced officers who can manage the programme. There is an internal Member and officer governance regime. Officers are supported by external expertise provided by Currie & Brown.
The Committee agreed that it needs to keep the programme under review with regular updates and briefings from officers to reassure them that the project will be completed on time and on budget as any major slippage would have a major impact on the Council’s finances.
· Officers to organise briefing meeting with the committee members to ensure they are fully briefed and up to speed on what is happening. (Dave Burns - David Burns Assistant Director - Growth)
· The January 2020 Civic campus Full Council report be circulated to Members as background information. (Kayode Adewumi – Head of Governance)