Extra Care Housing down to final 3 bidders

The number of bidders for Stoke-on-Trent City Councils Extra Care Housing project has now been reduced to 3 after the completion of the Invitation to Submit Outline Solutions stage of the PFI deal.

The remaining 3 bidders  Continue reading

The Bids Are In For £108m Stoke-on-Trent PFI Housing Project

Stoke-on-Trent City Council will now analyse details from a number of companies who applied for the extra care housing programme, after a European tendering deadline passed last week.

The council placed a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union – the publication that all public sector tenders for major projects must be published to – in November, to start the process to design, build, finance and operate the homes.

The scheme will deliver much needed extra care housing in the city – where older people can live independently and have the option of round the clock personal care, should they require it. The scheme gives residents the chance to prepare for their housing need in the future, and provides privacy and security. The homes also have communal facilities, open to both residents and the wider community, such as hair salons, gyms and cafes, to foster support networks and reduce social isolation.

Bidders were invited to submit details of their experience and ability to deliver such a major contract. As part of the process, the council held a bidder’s conference on 7 December, where around 85 companies met the council’s team to find out more about the programme.

Councillor Ruth Rosenau, cabinet member for regeneration, said

We have had a number of responses and are now working through the submissions of pre-qualification questionnaires by bidding parties.

We will now be conducting a process of assessment to select up to six consortia to discuss their proposals to deliver the scheme. Given the tight bidding timescales we are pleased to have achieved this first step on time

The sites allocated for the 390 new homes are

  • Holdcroft Fields, Holdcroft Road, Abbey Hulton.
  • Blurton Farm/Brookwood site, Consett Road, Blurton.
  • Turnhurst Road, opposite Selbourne Drive, Chell.

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Councillor Gwen Hassall, cabinet member for housing and neighbourhoods, said

This is another key milestone in delivering such a major, exciting project. Our city has an ageing population and these units are vitally important to help meet demand for supported accommodation for our residents.

 

PFI, Defrauding taxpayers an open letter

Dear Sir,

Having l articles on benefit fraudsters such as Sandra Edwards who defrauded taxpayers of £11,000 is all very well, but there are bigger fish who have cost the exchequer multiples of £11,000.

The national media of the last week has highlighted the huge waste of public money in a number of projects by the Labour Government. In ascending order we had the £500 million wasted on the reorganisation of the national call centres in the fire service. But this is peanuts compared to the £12 billion lost on the national computer scheme for the NHS, the folly of which has been known about for nearly a decade. But top of the heap of malfeasance and waste is the Private Finance Initiative started under the Tories but fully exploited by Gordon Brown as Chancellor of the Exchequer. The cost of new NHS private- financed schemes will stay with future generations of taxpayers up to 2049. Hospitals that would have cost £11 billion under the old Treasury arrangements of financing public projects such as hospitals will now cost £75 billion. An absolute disgrace which dwarfs the £11,000 stolen by Edwards. If Edwards deserves jail what fate should be in store for the politicians and civil servants that sanctioned this grand larceny?

Of course there are other projects funded through PFI including City schools. I hear horror stories of local schools been charged astronomic amounts for even minor repairs or maintenance. The whole PFI sorry saga requires more scrutiny then it has so far generated.

Bill Cawley

Stoke-on-Trent City Council Requesting Bids For £108m Housing Project

Bidders are being given the chance to explain how they would deliver a £108m programme to build 390 new homes for older people.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council has placed a notice with the Official Journal of the European Union – the publication that all public sector tenders for major projects must be published to – to start the process to design, build, finance and operate the homes.

The scheme will deliver much needed ‘extra care’ housing in the city – where older people can live independently and have the option of round the clock personal care, should they require it. The scheme gives residents the chance to prepare for their housing need in the future, and provides privacy and security. The homes also have communal facilities, open to both residents and the wider community such as hair salons, gyms and cafes, to foster support networks and reduce social isolation.

The notice will start the process to find a consortium to deliver the programme, and follows an announcement at the end of July from the Homes and Communities Agency that the council’s scheme could continue, after a vigorous assessment of all PFI projects across the country.

Councillor Ruth Rosenau, cabinet member for regeneration, said

This is a major step forward for the programme and the scheme represents a significant investment for the city. It is a major part of our Mandate for Change commitment to promote healthy lives and make Stoke-on-Trent a great place to live.  We will also consider and encourage bids that use local suppliers and the local workforce – we are committed to bringing investment into our city and fostering job opportunities for local people.

The notice invites bidders to submit details of their experience and ability to deliver such a major contract. As part of the process, the council will hold a bidder’s conference on Wednesday 7 December, for companies to meet the council’s team and find out more about the programme. Bidders have until 22 December to submit their details, and evaluation of the bids will take place during January 2012. Building work is expected to start in 2013.

Councillor Gwen Hassall, cabinet member for housing and neighbourhoods, said

Our city has an ageing population, and these units are vitally important to help meet demand for supported accommodation for our residents. The publication of the notice is a significant step forward in delivering such a major, and exciting, project.

The sites allocated for the 390 new homes are: Holdcroft Fields, Holdcroft Road, Abbey Hulton. Former Brookwood Home and Blurton Farm Depot, Consett Road, Blurton. Former Westcliffe Hospital, Turnhurst Road, Chell. The programme will build on existing schemes in the city, including the 75-unit Rowan Village in Meir and the 100-unit West End Village scheme in Stoke.

For more information about the bidders conference, interested groups should contact Alex Brookes at Stoke-on-Trent City Council. 

Longton Fire Station Set to be Rebuilt

Residents and the local business community are being invited to shape the future of Longton Fire Station.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is planning to rebuild the station on Uttoxeter Road. A consultation event is being held at the fire station on Thursday 27th January where attendees can contribute to discussions.

Longton is one of 11 fire stations that has been selected to be rebuilt under a £50 million private finance initiative (PFI) scheme. A separate, earlier PFI project is currently underway with ten fire stations being rebuilt.

[Station Manager, Andy Leedham said] “This is fantastic news for Longton and the surrounding areas. We are still in the early stages of planning this new station, but our vision for all of these new fire stations is to make them community embracing.

“We already have a brand new community fire station under construction in Hanley, Sandyford Community Fire Station opened a couple of months ago and Burslem Fire Station is currently undergoing refurbishment also.

“The consultation event will give the public and members of local organisations the chance to influence the shape of the new station with regards to its design and how it is used.”[/quote]

Partners, businesses and local residents are invited to attend sessions from either 3pm ““ 5pm or 6pm-8pm.
Longton firefighters, members of the Northern Service delivery Group and the PFI project team will be at the events and will be available to answer questions.

Interested parties who are unable to attend the event but would like more information regarding the development at Longton Fire Station should ring 01785 898671 or email pfiproject@staffordshirefire.gov.uk.

The 11 fire stations due to be rebuilt are: Longton, Stone, Burton-on-Trent, Chase Terrace, Codsall, Kinver, Lichfield, Leek, Penkridge, Ashley and Rugeley.

To book a free Home Fire Risk Check contact: 0800 0241 999. For all other non emergency enquiries contact: 08451 22 11 55 or log onto: www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk/firekills. In an emergency dial 999.

Tremendous City Lighting Project Commended By A Leading Australian City Official

A street lighting project in Stoke-on-Trent, which could help shape developments in Australia, has been described as “tremendous” and “value for money” during a recent visit by a leading city official.

Martyn Glover, who is the Director of Infrastructure Services for the City of Joondalup, visited Stoke-on-Trent on Wednesday (July 7). During his visit Martyn heard about future plans for street lighting in Stoke-on-Trent and how they would be implemented. Martyn originally travelled to the region in 2000 following advice from a lighting consultant in Australia about the good work taking place in Stoke-on-Trent. He will now travel back to Australia and explain how developments in Stoke-on-Trent can benefit projects they are planning.

Martyn, said:

“In Joondalup we’re always looking at how other bodies around the world are improving their own street lighting. We became aware of the agreement Stoke-on-Trent City Council entered into with Tay Valley Lighting and were very impressed by what we heard and now what I’ve seen during my visit.

“From what I have seen this project has been a tremendous success here and is proving value for money. When I visited the region before plans were just beginning to be put together and it’s great to now see those plans taking shape. I have travelled the world and many local governments have not got anywhere with their plans but Stoke-on-Trent has made a huge step forward to deliver this service.

“I can take this working knowledge of the system that the city council has implemented back with me to Australia to help us to shape our own lighting schemes.”

Stoke-on-Trent City Council entered into a 25 year contract with Tay Valley Lighting in September 2003 to improve public lighting and on highways. The partnership contract is being delivered through the Government’s Private Finance Initiative. In total 38,900 new items of equipment will be installed over the contract period including 33,700 new lamp posts. In the first five years of the project 25,255 lighting columns were replaced.

Councillor Mervin Smith, cabinet member for city development, said:

“The improvements to street lighting has proved exceptionally beneficial to the people of Stoke-on-Trent, reducing crime, the fear of crime and night time accidents. It is a testament to the hard work which has gone on that we are attracting international recognition for this type of project and I hope that Martyn can take a little bit of Stoke-on-Trent away with him to benefit the people of Australia.”

To report a faulty street light residents can call 0800 3287709. This number operates 24 hours a day, all year round.

The Lights On In Stoke website has more information on planned work.

Picture Credit Andrew Stuart