As a leaseholder I am concerned about the new proposed works that the Camden Council proposes to do in order to make the heating system functional. For that reason I have sent the following email on the 12-11-2012 to the Leaseholder’s Group requesting some clarifications. I received their answer on 09-01-2013 because Mr Chew was out of the office from 4pm on 6th December 2012 until 8th January 2013.
On the 09-01-2013 at 17:08 we received the following email:
Subject: RE: 12/209 & 26787
Thank you for your emails received 12th November 2012 and 4th January 2012.
Further to my previous email of the 3rd December 2012, I am now in the position in full. Please see my responses below, under each of your questions, and to differentiate my responses I have used a different font colour, and bolded.
Consultation and Final Accounts Officer
Telephone: 0207 974 7100
On the 12-11-2012 at 06:25am I have sent the following email:
To: ‘Chew, Gareth’
Cc: ‘Robinson, Roger (Councillor)’
Subject: REF: 12/209
Dear Mr Chew,
Further to your letter dated 1st November 2012 regarding the proposed Major Works on the boiler House, please find attached my observations/feedback and questions.
On the 23rd March 2011 Mr Odoi (Capital Works Service Charge Officer, Tel: 020 7974 2813) stated in his email that:
a) “The boiler house plant is in fairly good condition and has had the refractory brickwork replaced recently in all three boilers. It is estimated that the boilers/burners have another ten years life expectancy.
b) The calorifiers will be new.
c) The control panel controls and wiring has approximately ten years life expectancy.
d) The pumps are in good condition and should also last another ten years.
However, in your letter dated 1st November 2012 you stated: “…the boilers and plant room equipment in the boiler house have reached the end of their useful life”
1) Who informed Mr Odoi about the 10 years life expectancy? Where did that consultant/person base his/her findings about the 10 years life expectancy?
Mr Odoi was informed by our Capital Delivery Team of the 10 year life expectancy. Unfortunately, after an exhaustive search of Leaseholder Services files and Capital Delivery files, we have not been able to find any details of which this information was based on.
2) Based on the above two conflicting statements, how reliable are those surveys and what actions does Camden Council take to prevent them from happening? Have the Camden Council impose any penalties to those responsible for the above misleading information?
On behalf of the London Borough of Camden, I would like to offer my apologises with the contradicting information that was previously provided. With regards to this contract, the Contract Manager informs me that both the Options Appraisal Report, carried out by Primeglen and the a Survey carried out by LAM Associates are consistent in the information that they have both provided, and therefore is confident in their reliability.
I have not been made aware of any penalties imposed on parties responsible for providing the previous information.
3) Please provide a detailed explanation for the above contradiction.
Unfortunately, as we have not been able to find any details of which this information was based on, I am unable to offer an explanation for the contradiction. In this regard all I can offer is a sincere apology for this.
Concerning the award for the contract for the boiler room, which steps have Camden Council taken to ensure that residents are getting the best value for money? As far as I am aware, if a public body contract value is over a certain amount then the public body (i.e. Camden Council) must follow procurement law which means that they have to make a tender. A tender is the process in which a public body procures goods or services. Tenders must be advertised to allow competition.
4) Has the Camden Council followed the correct procurement law in order to encourage competition and subsequently a better price and service for the residents?
The London Borough of Camden has followed the correct procedure with regards to the procurement of Apollo – The partnering contract that now exists between Camden Council and Apollo is a valid contract that was correctly procured under the OJEU process in accordance with Government legislation, approximately 4 years ago. The process is extremely robust and is designed to fulfil several criteria in order to be accepted. Apollo tendered for the contract along with several other recognised companies and under scrutiny produced the winning bid.
5) Why has Camden Council proposed Apollo for the contract unopposed and without any consultation with other contractors, especially after the poor achievements of Apollo on the estate thus far? (more than 100 days in the last year when residents have not had adequate hot water). Why not, another contractor such as Seaflame?
These works are being carried out under an existing Partnering Agreement, and as such the consultation was correctly procured under the OJEU process in accordance with Government legislation, approximately 4 years ago.
6) How do we know that Apollo offes the best price/value/service for the residents?
The Partnering Agreement that these works are being undertaken were competitively tendered, and the procurement process that it was undertaken was extremely robust, as was the due diligence. As such, the London Borough of Camden is confident that these works represents both Best Value and Value for Money for what is being provided.
In your letter you mention two fees, Fixed fee (£27,184.50) and Performance Fee (£3,883.19).
Could you please let us know the following?
7) The exact criteria for the performance fee?
The criteria for the Performance Fee is measured against 4 Key Performance Indicators, which are:
· Resident Satisfaction
· Quality/Defects – inspections
· Predictability of Time
· Predictability of Cost
8) Who will judge the performance of the contractor? Please state the names of the Camden Council employees that will do this task.
The performance of the contractors will be managed by Apollo in the 1st instance and in turn this will be overseen by the designated contracts manager from Camden’s Mechanical and Electrical team.
9) What is the “fixed fee”?
This represents the Partners “profit” and contribution to head office overheads
10) Could you please provide a detailed list of all the major components including their technical specifications that you propose to install inside the boiler house? For instance we need the following details:
b) Model Number
d) Warranty of the component
e) Manufacturer’s Price and Retail Price excl VAT
f) Technical Specifications and descriptions
g) Datasheets or other materials for those products
The Contract Manager informs me that the above list is not quantifiable until such time as the best value is established following feedback from the market costing exercise.
11) Is the Camden Council aware that the leaseholders are still paying for the last major heating works? Why does Camden Council think that leaseholders can afford endless repairs and section 20 notes?
The London Borough of Camden is aware that Leaseholders are still paying for Phase 1 of the Heating Works. The London Borough of Camden primary responsibility is to maintain its properties, and under the terms of your Lease Leaseholders are required to contribute towards these works. That said, the London Borough of Camden does acknowledge that the timing of these works is unfortunate, and your Collections Officer has been informed to take that into consideration when offering payment options.
12) Have Camden Council considerd the option of abandoning the boiler House and instead installing individual boilers in each flat? The benefits are huge and some of them are listed below:
i) Any boiler fault will affect only one property and not the whole estate.
ii) Residents can save or spend as much as they like.
iii) Camden Council will not have any responsibility for the boilers inside the leasehold properties.
iv) Standard boilers and standard components are easy to find and thats keep the cost low
v) Less complaints from the leaseholders
vi) More environmental friendly since the boilers will work only when necessary and not 24/7 as now.
The Contract Manager informs me that all options were duly considered within the framework of the options appraisal, including the above.
13) How long will the works take to complete?
The Contract Manager informs me that the works will take approximately 8 to 12 weeks
14) The residents on the estate had experienced noise from the boiler room which is now fixed. How will Camden Council insured that the residents will not have problems from the noise when the new equipment is installed?
The Contract Manager informs me that the purpose of the proposed refurbishment and installation is to provide an efficient and improved system of heating and hot water services for all residents. By definition the installation of a brand new system will reduce any likely problems, including noise, previously generated by the old and inferior system. However, in the event that issues arise, they will be dealt with through the maintenance team assigned to address the effective working of the system.
15) What noise reductions measures will you take and will you keep the current anti-vibration parts in the new installation?
The Contract Manager informs me that the proposed installation will utilise the latest technology available for the replacement system.
16) What does the maintenance contract with Apollo cover? Does it cover repairs up to specific amount or all repairs for the duration of the contract?
The Contract Manager informs me that the maintenance contract with Apollo covers the current provision and maintenance of Heating and Hot water services to all council owned domestic dwellings.