Exeter City Council’s Resources Scrutiny Committee will hear on Wednesday, September 15 that further increases in the cost of the RAMM project may be in the pipeline. Work carried out by the council’s project managers, Focus Consultants, has shown that the work may cost up to £2m more than the current budget of £22m.
Councillors will also hear that the council is investigating the reasons for the overspend – currently £9m more than the original budget.
Cllr Kevin Mitchell, Lead Councillor for Environment and Leisure, said: “We believe that a number of mistakes were made during the design process for the project which will lead to the council having to incur additional costs for extra work, delay to the programme, and in some cases abortive work. Clearly this is very unsatisfactory indeed. We believe that much of the responsibility for this lies outside the council and we are therefore determined to pursue claims where possible to return as much of this money to the city council as we can.”
Councillors have also heard in recent months that officers have continued to seek further external funding to reduce the council’s exposure to the problems it faces. This includes an additional grant of £730,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, on top of its original contribution of £9.5m.
Contractors and consultants continue to work to reduce the delays and the projected overspends, and the forecast official opening date, December 2011, has not been changed.
(from a press release)