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  • The Rother Alliance

Statement on Bexhill's Broken Fountains - "We want to find a solution and we will."

A statement from the portfolio holder for sports, leisure, communities, culture and tourism on Rother District Council.


The Next Wave Promenade / DLWP Lawns landscaping project was started in 2011 at a reported cost in excess of £6/7 million of Council funds/grants. On conclusion of the works a settlement was agreed with the contractors to defer payment of extra work undertaken by accepting full ongoing maintenance which included the fountains.


The malfunctioning of the Fountains was apparent in 2017 and reported that as many as 5 contractors were involve with design/procurement and installation- with reluctance to accept liability as to ongoing repairs.


In 2019 with great concern the members of the new administration, following officers’ advice, made the unpopular but responsible decision to close the fountains. Rother have been accused since then of not caring about fixing them- this simply is not true.


Let me thank the local resident who recently requested the FOI on the fountains. This has brought into the public domain the real problems and why fixing them is not an easy task.


All the documentation is attached for you to read for yourself; the following highlights reflect the woeful mis-management of this project from 2011 to date:


  1. A contract issued with no guarantee/warranty - subsequently the RDC Conservative Administration accepted full responsibility for maintenance as the 5 original contractors wouldn’t touch it.

  2. A contract issued with no ongoing maintenance agreement

  3. Leakage began in 2017 and nothing was done

  4. A structural survey was completed in 2018 which outlined the severe problems, the most serious of which was to point out the wrong plastic had been used in construction

  5. The survey identified that the structure was unsafe


Following an Officers’ report in May 2019 the Rother Alliance, the new administration, requested officers to investigate the remedial works. A report was brought to Cabinet with a recommendation to shut off the fountains until a full survey & costs could be provided.


A full investigation of what it would cost to rectify the situation was undertaken in the hope we could have the fountains back in the summer of 2020. As you know March 2020 Covid struck and everything ground to a halt for a while.


However, the investigation revealed that the costs to the taxpayer would be approximately £350,000 which subsequently rose to £600,000 and now is estimated to be just under £1 million!


The Rother Alliance are committed to the health and wellbeing of our residents and we know how much families enjoyed the fun of seeing their little ones splashing about in the fountains. We want to find a solution and we will.


Statement by Councillor Hazel Timpe

Portfolio holder for sports, leisure, communities, culture and tourism on Rother District Council Attachments below

Cabinet minutes:

Cabinet-Minutes-Water-Feature
.docx
Download DOCX • 71KB




Cabinet Report:

FOI-6980-Cabinet-Report
.pdf
Download PDF • 4.34MB




Freedom Of Information request:

Freedom-of-Information-Request-6980
.pdf
Download PDF • 11KB




Survey:

FOI-6980-Survey
.pdf
Download PDF • 1.99MB




Proposed works:

FOI-6980-Proposed-Works
.pdf
Download PDF • 1.35MB




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