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sarahbell

heating and lighting

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"It would cost £87 million over the next twenty years just to heat, light and continue to maintain the current civic centre.

http://www.oldham-chronicle.co.uk/news-features/8/news-headlines/104447/masterplan-gains-the-green-light

First I heard of plans was on Sunday via a FB page.




Councillor Stretton also urged residents to have their say on the proposals when they enter a public consultation period, which is expected to last 12 months. She added: "This is a massive undertaking and it is not something that the council can undertake on its own and we will be seeking appropriate partners to bring this to fruition."

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Standard local council vanity project.  They can't just keep themselves to managing the area, they've got to do something extra.  It will probably end up being another hugely expensive white elephant.  The funny thing is that sort of 60s brutalist will probably be really trendy by 2035...

[Has no-one told them they could save stacks on their heating bill by using external cladding?]

BTW -- is it possible to visit the nuclear bunker under there?  They should make a little museum out of it...

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6 minutes ago, Happy Renting said:

They don't say how much it would cost to heat, etc. the new centre.

There isn't one.

Or rather, reading what it is they're doing, they seem to be re-purposing lots of council buildings with the net result of losing one building (the civic centre) and (selling off the land and) putting houses in its place.

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It's not unusual for these northern towns riven with poverty and social problems to do things like this. Rochdale spent 50 Million on a council HQ that is thought  to be worth only 1/2 that http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/new-rochdale-council-hq-worth-5848475 . Bolton has spent 50M on a new bus station with an integrated office block to be used by the university. 

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2 minutes ago, ThePiltdownMan said:

It's not unusual for these northern towns riven with poverty and social problems to do things like this. Rochdale spent 50 Million on a council HQ that is thought  to be worth only 1/2 that http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/local-news/new-rochdale-council-hq-worth-5848475 . Bolton has spent 50M on a new bus station with an integrated office block to be used by the university. 

How can someone possibly work out the "worth" of this?  It's a purpose built council building. Given that it's worthless other than for the ground it sits on. No one else would have any use for it whatsoever. 

Another example of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. 

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1 minute ago, One percent said:

How can someone possibly work out the "worth" of this?  It's a purpose built council building. Given that it's worthless other than for the ground it sits on. No one else would have any use for it whatsoever. 

 

You beat me to that. Darlington FC fell into this trap - it seemed to pass them by that there would be no other potential buyers for a football stadium, in Darlington.

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2 minutes ago, One percent said:

How can someone possibly work out the "worth" of this?  It's a purpose built council building. Given that it's worthless other than for the ground it sits on. No one else would have any use for it whatsoever. 

Another example of knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing. 

Ultimately it's just office space - but in the centre of Rochdale there's not that much demand for it.

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A lot of councils are going into debt to buy commercial properties such as business parks with the idea that they can generate big revenue streams to make up for the loss of central government grant, so if everyone that you're talking to is doing it then you're going to think "me too" without looking at it too closely.  There will be good schemes in with the bad but in general councils muddy the commercial aspect with some vague "social" purpose meaning that it fulfills neither.

 

The one bit of the plan that probably makes sense is demolishing the existing council offices as the maintenance of these old offices is horrendously costly and it is much cheaper just to knock them down and build a new one.  The heating system is probably hugely inefficient as well but it seems odd to mention lighting which can hardly be a huge cost.

 

Plymouth council sold their (listed, for some bizarre reason) main council offices for £1 last year and I thought they were spot on with this. Though if they hadn't been listed then demolish and rebuild may have been the better option.

http://m.plymouthherald.co.uk/plymouth-s-civic-centre-sold-1/story-29385867-detail/story.html

In case anyone thinks "bargain" I walked past it last week, nothing done, bits beginning to fall off. It's costing the developer money even without doing any work and  I can see them trying to sell it on again.

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3 hours ago, Frank Hovis said:

A lot of councils are going into debt to buy commercial properties such as business parks with the idea that they can generate big revenue streams to make up for the loss of central government grant, so if everyone that you're talking to is doing it then you're going to think "me too" without looking at it too closely.  There will be good schemes in with the bad but in general councils muddy the commercial aspect with some vague "social" purpose meaning that it fulfills neither.

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/woking-borough-council-chief-executive-11788256

Quote

Woking Borough Council chief executive defends huge investment plan as debts could rise to £1billion.

Woking Borough Council’s chief executive has defended his ‘investment-led’ approach to council spending, which could be plunging it £1billion into debt.

Following concern raised by council opposition groups and resident campaigners, Ray Morgan said councils should act as ‘businesses’ and admitted Woking’s current borrowing levels were ‘substantial’.

No could about it. Population = 92,400. That's circa £11,000 per person.

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2 minutes ago, Hail the Tripod said:

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/woking-borough-council-chief-executive-11788256

No could about it. Population = 92,400. That's circa £11,000 per person.

It sounds vastly over-ambitious and is doing that muddling of the reason for doing it which both hamstrings such projects and gives a ready made excuse when they make a loss.

I am fine with councils doing some of this sort of stuff - buy things cheap and then with their control of planning (roads, houses) they can increase its value - but this is massive.

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They're playing the only game in town -- mucking about in property.

They could be investing in local business, education or whatever.  Something which actually might result in the county being better.  But, no.  Property.  It is the economic disease of our time and nothing will improve until it is resolved.

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