Posted by: John Brace | 9 April 2011

Wirral Council Cabinet to decide contractor for Cathcart Street Primary School/Children’s Centre

The Lib Dem/Conservative Cabinet will next Thursday decide upon a contractor for the refurbishment of Cathcart Street Primary School, creation of a new Children’s Centre here (as reported by the Liverpool Echo) and provision for holidays/after school clubs.

The Cabinet report suggests they choose Paragon Construction for the project.

Waiving of call-in is also requested on this decision, so that the project can be started right away (depriving the Labour Party to have a further meeting within two weeks stating why they’d be against over a million pounds worth of investment in this school). The plan is that the contractor will start over the Easter break which would be impossible without waiving call-in.

The project raises a number of questions which I will be asking of Cabinet:-

a) Will the contract specify that local employment has to be used (or a % of local employment)? Is this what “Provision will be made within the contract for Targeted Recruitment and Training (TRT) so that Wirral Council can continue the policy of developing a Construction Employment Integrator (CEI).” means at 9.7? 12.2 states “The successful constructor will be encouraged to employ local labour and source materials from local suppliers as far as possible.”, but does this mean they will?
b) What’s the scale of the bonus the contractor would get for completing on time?
c) Considering the tendency of construction projects to take longer and cost more, what controls are in place to ensure it comes in on time and budget?
d) A number of construction companies contracted on the Wirral have gone bust part way through a project. For example the project to reconstruct the West Kirby Marine Lake or the new medical centre on Laird Street. What alternative arrangements are in place regarding this eventuality and has the financial background of the preferred contractor been looked into?
e) What can other Wirral schools learn from the green elements of the design in helping combat climate change, reducing their carbon footprint and saving Wirral Council money?


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