This report seeks to gain authority to proceed with the procurement of essential resurfacing works to the multi storey car park in accordance with the Council’s planned preventative maintenance programme. Authority is further sought for placement of contract and works order for the project with the most economically advantageous contractor on completion of procurement.
Upon the invitation of the Chair, the Property, Estates & Facilities Manager introduced the report to the Committee. He explained the works proposed under the report formed part of the maintenance plan for the asset and highlighted that the 15 year care plan was appended to the report. There had been accelerated wear to the surfaces of Level 1 and 2, which had resulted in increased risk of water penetration to the supermarket below. The wear also resulted in decreased surface traction which posed risks to users of the building. Having identified the risk, taking no action could be deemed a criminal offence in the Health and Safety at Work Act. The works were estimated to cost in the region of £350,000, which was included in the Capital Asset Management Budget for 2021/22. The car park would need to be temporarily closed for the work to be carried out, however this would be done in the quieter period to reduce inconvenience to users. While the Car Park was closed, the opportunity would be taken to carry out other maintenance tasks, to minimise inconvenience to customers. It was estimated the closure would result in a loss of £3700 to the Council in terms of car parking revenue. Consultation had been carried out with Bognor Regis BID, Bognor Town Council and local Ward Members, who were in support and no adverse comments had been received.
Members then took part in a question and answer session as summarised below:
· The car park was not making a huge return, however it was understood that it needed to be maintained to ensure safety, and there was no choice but to carry out the repairs. There was however, concern amount the amount of money being spent, and future plans for the car park should be looked at. The Property, Estates & Facilities Manager confirmed the future of the building could be looked at separately.
· The 15-year plan listed how much money would be spent on car parks, which was an astonishing amount of money. Although it was acknowledged the Council had a responsibility to maintain the car park, it could not be seen as sustainable, and alternatives needed to be looked at.
· Clarification was sought around costs and the 15-year care plan.
· The car park was an expensive asset for the Council, which was losing money, and did not have many people parking in. It was unfair on the Council Tax payers to pay for the resurfacing of the car park each year.
Following further discussion about the future of the car park, the recommendations were Proposed by Councillor Walsh, with the addition of a third recommendation which was ‘Officers to bring a report on possible alternative ownership and maintenance at an early opportunity’. These were Seconded by Councillor Andy Cooper.
1) The Council proceed with the procurement of essential waterproof coverings and associated works to the Fitzleet Multi Storey Car Park.
2) Authority be delegated to the Group Head for Technical Services, to authorise and enter into contract with, and place order for, the tendered works with the most economically advantageous contractor following the procurement exercise.
3) Officers to bring a report on possible alternative ownership and maintenance at an early opportunity.