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Has your council carried out a large project? Is it practical (or reasonable) to expect officers to bring quotes for every element to be approved? (what level of delegation/authority to spend is reasonable?) The members know the centre is needed but really need a way to task a single entity to deliver project (from designs to actual re-build to the completed internal finishing). The members are mindful its out of there comfort zone and last few years focus has been on getting basics right.
by (9.1k points)

2 Answers

+1 vote
Best answer
My parish council undertook a renovation of a sports pavilion to the tune of £250k with a £100k grant from the Football Foundation.  The first thing I insisted on (as a Clerk) was that the council appoint a project manager with experience in building renovation and that I was totally unqualified to lead on this project.  They fortunately agreed (although some thought it would be a simple job) and we then left the project manager to oversee the works.  He was also involved in the tendering process for the builders.  So the only approval the PC had to make was for the total cost of the project (apart from the appointment of the PM) as it was a fixed cost job.

There clearly was a fee involved and as a rule it is a % of the cost of the works.  That said, it was worth every penny as the PM know exactly what had to be done, when and in what order.  Getting happy amateurs to undertake this project would have, in the end cost more money.
by (24.6k points)
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Thanks for this really helpful reply appreciated. How did you go about finding a Project Manager? (was this an employee appointed by the Council or a company offering it as a service). Within the constraints of adopted NALC Finance Regulations (virtually identical)
1) Council Appoint Project Manager
2) The PM in consultation with the RFO prepares tender documents for Council Approval
3) Council appoint builder/contractor following conclusion of tender process
Did you explore whether implications of the Project Manager (if a company service) also offering a wrap around design & build service? How does that effect tendering etc?
It was a while ago but I believe I looked for localish project managers who demonstrated a knowledge of sport pavilions and invited them to present and tender for the works.  With regards to the building contractor, we used the Contracts Finder website and supplied tendering documentation that had been created by the PM (specification of works, drawings etc).  He worked with us when interviewing the contractors and analysing their costings.  We really did let him take the lead but that was after we had met with him and developed a good level of trust between PM and council.

We didn't consider the wrap around option but I can't see why you cant but you need to compare apples with apples.
+1 vote
This is perfect Quantity Surveyor / Project Manager territory.
PC describes the desired project final outcome (in general, plain language terms)  then seeks / appoints a QS / PM to deliver.
Keep it all well away from well intentioned but invariably I’ll equipped parish councillors.
by (22.2k points)
Thanks for reply really helpful I agree about keeping it away from Cllrs. Is there a definitive source/website to  find a good Project Manager / Quantity Surveyor?

If you know of a local reputable mid sized construction firm, they will likey have a QS they use regularly.

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