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‘Cold and wet weather’ is blamed for delays to repairs at County Hall

PUBLISHED: 09:33 30 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:48 30 December 2019

Work at County Hall. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

Work at County Hall. Pic: Dan Grimmer.

Archant

Repair work at Norfolk County Council’s headquarters - as part of a multi-million revamp of County Hall - has over-run, partially because it has been too cold and wet.

Norfolk County Council's Labour group leader Steve Morphew and Liberal Democrat group leader Ex Maxfield. Pictures: ArchantNorfolk County Council's Labour group leader Steve Morphew and Liberal Democrat group leader Ex Maxfield. Pictures: Archant

A project to modernise the site, in Norwich's Martineau Lane, began in 2012.

Work was needed after blocks of masonry fell from the 1960s-built main building.

Since June, the focus has been on repairing the concourse outside County Hall and the work was supposed to have been finished before Christmas - but was not.

A Norfolk County Council spokesman, said: "Repairs to the majority of the concourse outside County Hall should be complete by the end of January.

"This work has taken longer than planned mainly due to cold and wet weather conditions, as the sealant application work has to be carried out in the dry, and at temperatures above five degrees.

"Some delays were also due to the need to fix some unexpected drainage issues before the sealant was laid down.

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"The last phase to repair the final small section to the south will start in the spring and is expected to be complete this summer."

Labour group leader Steve Morphew said: "It has taken a ridiculously long time and created lots of inconvenience. It does feel like if it had been some sense of urgency it could have been finished before the cold and wet.

"After all, this is England and, if we can agree on only one thing, it's that in winter here it is always cold and wet."

An initial contract worth £22m for work at County Hall was awarded to RG Carter in 2012, which saw an extra £10m for replacement insulation, heating and lighting added on a year later.

Councillors agreed to add a further £7m in 2017 for work on the basement, lower ground floor and north wing - on top of millions more which had already been set aside for that work.

And a £14.2m contract to complete the refurbishment of those final sections was recently awarded to the UK-based construction firm Mace Group.

Ed Maxfield, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: "The delays to the work at County Hall are baffling.

"After the huge overspends on the Norwich Distributor Road, it is starting to look like the council couldn't organise a drinks party in a brewery."


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