4 September 2012

60% over the top

A County Council or a prison?
The above building was designed by Robin Lee Architecture who are about to carry out some design work in Cricklewood. Mr Mustard drives through Cricklewood quite often and it could do with some improvement. Mr Mustard's suggestion is to compulsorily purchase a plot of land near the B&Q warehouse and make a public square which has Cricklewood Broadway as its west side.

If you want to punish yourself with more pictures of the Wexford County Council building, and others, they can be found on the architect's site, here.

Here is the DPR for the Public Realm and Creative Design work in Cricklewood.

1778 - Cricklewood Public Realm and Creative Design

Now look at the scoring. The lowest bidder for Public Realm Designer got the highest combined score which was based upon the factors shown at 5.2 & 5.3 (stick a 4 in the scribd box above right to go up a page) and yet Bidder A, whoever they are, didn't fit because the council decided that you were too cheap. Did they actually ask you to explain why you could do the job for less, perhaps you are not so greedy, you were having a summer sale, you were a bit short of work or you pay your staff less which Barnet Council are happy to do for Traffic Wardens. You should have been given the job. Are you going to sue? You could always offer to put your price up a bit. Barnet Council have thrown an extra £25,000 at the winning bidder, Robin Lee Architecture, who have some ghastly stuff on their website (beauty is in the eye of the beholder and Mr Mustard hasn't had time to pop to Wexford but one day he will and he will be sure to take his camera).
Now look at the scoring for Creative Design. Bidder B was 1 percent below the winning bidder who cost 122% more, that is right, their cost is £67,000 more and there was only one point in it. Why weren't they told that the level of resource allocated was too high and they weren't getting the job unless they price-matched?
Instead of paying out £152,013 the council are going to pay out £244,205 which is £92,192 or 60% over the top. Money from Boris also comes out of Mr Mustard's pocket; he does not like it being picked.

Not their money the officers are spending is it?

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard


  1. It seems very strange, Mr Mustard, how council officers are allowed to manipulate the procurement process in such a fashion. This demonstrtaes a lack of commonsense that it widespread throughout Barnet Council. They are wasting our money - as you quite rightly say we all fund Boris through our GLA precept on the council tax which in my case is £443.04 this year.

  2. "Mr Mustard's suggestion is to compulsorily purchase a plot of land near the B&Q warehouse and make a public square which has Cricklewood Broadway as its west side."

    You can't do that, Mr Mustard - in 2009, Mike Freer and his planning committee gave permission to the Brent Cross Cricklewood developers to build on the B&Q land, the only greenery in central Cricklewood.

    In fact, the developers threw anything thay liked into their application, since there was no chance to reject just part of the proposals.

    For instance, there were strong objections to building houses on two small triangles of land off Claremont Road, which are surrounded by existing homes, and used as play areas by children. That was a waste of time - it was approved by the planning committee in the whole plan, along with the rest.

  3. So sorry BrentCrossCrick to be so ignorant of the history and how ironic that I should choose as the idea for regeneration the one thing that was removed. Every town needs a square, just look at how the French do it, which becomes the meeting place, the town hall, the restaurant area, cafes, shops etc and a safe and vibrant place. Why Do barnet Council so often do the opposite of what is sensible?

  4. So what is this design firm and architecture firm going to do? I know the architectural group is helping with the christmas lights but £122,000 for specially commissioned christmas lights?


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