The most expensive shed … addendum v1   Melbourn in Cambridgeshire

The most expensive shed in the village

The most expensive shed … addendum

There appears to be several anomalies in the report that imply the Working Group may not have been given all the relevant material required to formulate a proper investigation. However, looking at the documentation available on the Parish Council website, it’s not difficult to find the right information which would have provided a concise report.


In Appendix 5 of the Car Park report, under Cost history – Background – second bullet point:

“The project scope changed again, such that an invitation to tender was sent out at a budget price of £150k; only one tender was eventually received. This was finally recommended for approval by the Finance and General Purposes committee on 30th March 2015″

Yet in the minutes of the F&G meeting on Monday, 30th March, 2015 under F&G49/14:

To receive a recommendation regarding tender quotes in relation to the car park refurbishment.

“Cllr Regan presented details of the 3 tenders for the refurbishment of the car park with a recommendation from Sweetts that the quote from INTERSERV for £255,047.60. be accepted.”

The report implies only one tender was received, yet the minutes clearly indicate 3 tenders were presented to the council.

Yet, a further contradiction comes when discussing the contract, in the minutes of the Planning Committee which was held on Monday 4th July 2016, during the suspension of Standing Orders.

“The Clerk corrected Cllr Linnette and informed him the contact sum was £257000 with £20000 contingency and total budget was £300000.”

“Cllr District Hales confirmed as he was on the Car Park Committee the contract price was £277000.”

There’s no mention of the contingency in the tender process.

In Appendix 4 under ‘Members of the Working Group Observations’

The following point was made in relation to the Co-op

“Several members of the public that have attended council meetings have raised relevant points regarding lower cost options … with one even pointing out that the COOP offered a proposal which was turned down without any real consideration or feasibility study as to how this may work.”

Under the same section as the Tenders mentioned above the F&G Committee ‘touched’ on the subject, see F&G meeting on Monday, 30th March, 2015 under F&G49/14:

“Prior to any recommendation being put, the committee considered the letter from Banks Long & Co, Chartered Surveyors on behalf of the Co-op with regard to purchasing the car park for a new store with additional parking spaces for the public. This was rejected on a number of grounds, principally that it would contravene the lease between the council and SCDC and also the need for the car park to stay in the public domain, to safeguard the safe route to school, and the curbing of anti-social behaviour.

The idea that it would contravene the lease was nothing more than a smokescreen. As far as the other points that were raised, to suggest the Co-op would not safeguard the safe route to school or curb the antisocial behaviour was insulting.

What is disturbing is that this potential solution doesn’t appear to have been discussed at Full Council nor warranted a proper investigation or consultation.

Moving the Co-op would have solved an age-old problem of traffic jams at the Cross and would have saved the residents of Melbourn £400,000.

< CAR PARK REPORT

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