Green Party Councillor denied call-in of Central Hill decision by Lambeth Council

6 March 2018

Green Party councillor Scott Ainslie's attempt to call in for scrutiny the decision to award a £15.5m contract to oversee the redevelopment of Central Hill estate to Mace Group has been turned down by Lambeth Council, despite concerns over the cost of the project, and the lack of a ballot of estate residents.

The £15,553,333 contract was awarded to Mace by Lambeth Council on 19th February [1], but Cllr Ainslie challenged the decision on the grounds including:

- inadequate budget
- the high cost of the contract
- potential conflicts of interest
- lack of residents' ballot (which may preclude funding from the Mayor)

The council has denied Cllr Ainslie's request - a decision which he is appealing.

Cllr Ainslie said: "The numbers supplied in council papers just don't add up and there are still questions to be answered about the choice of contractor. When such large sums of public money are being spent on behalf of council-tax-payers, it is essential that there is public confidence in the integrity of the decision-making process.

"This is of particular importance in the light of questions currently being raised over the awarding to the same company, Mace, of the contract to redevelop Fenwick Estate in Clapham, a contract which has been overturned after a legal challenge by a rival company. [2]

"For the public to have confidence in the councillors and officers making these decisions, there needs to be total openness to questions and scrutiny by their elected representatives."

Notes

1. Mace Group were also awarded the £15,553,333 development management contract for redevelopment of Central Hill Estate by LBL on 19 february 2018.

2. The decision to award Mace Group a contract worth £12,919,600 to oversee redevelopment of the Fenwick estate was made by LBL in May 2017 but was reversed after a legal challenge by rival company Karakusevic-Carson Architects in July 2017. The People's Audit has raised questions over the tendering process that led to this decision: http://www.thepeoplesaudit.info/2018/03/05/peoples-audit-raises-questions-over-fenwick-estate-contract/

3. Other estate regeneration contracts awarded by LBL include: Mott MacDonald (£6,674,496 for Cressingham Gardens) and Tibbalds Campbell Reith (£4,118,000 for Westbury Estate and £2,287,000 for Knight's Walk).






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