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The contents of the Gateway Review into the progress of the Mountview / Hornsey Town Hall project has just been published, some 7 months after it was produced. The overall assessment was a status of amber/red for the project.
Regrettably this does not come as a surprise.
One of the major recommendations reads:
Haringey Council should review its risk management strategy to include broader options for the Town Hall.
Now it's a little tricky for a mere mortal like myself who has never worked for a local authority to understand this, but I paraphrase it as "back to the drawing board" just over 3 years into the project
Other critical recommendations are:
Reassess governance arrangements, including membership of the Hornsey Town Hall project board and meetings.
Paraphrase - we put the wrong people in charge and didn't pay enough attention
Haringey Council, Mountview and HTHCT to carry out a joint analysis of options to meet the project’s funding gap.
Paraphrase - we haven't got any idea how we are going to do this, let's throw some more money at the consultants
Haringey Council should resource and assemble a wider professional team to undertake options appraisal work.
Paraphrase - more consultants
Back in the day estimates of how much doing up the Town Hall would cost were estimated at about £15m (see this article in the Haringey independent) . Inflation, a dose of realism , further decay to the building and loftier ambitions (world class renaissance) have tended to push this estimate upwards. One of the estimates (with all Mountview accomodation sited within the Town Hall) in the Gateway Review now quotes £28m (see the table on page 7 of the review). At the same time the same review revises Mountview's ability to raise funds downwards from £9m to £2m (p8) . This leaves a gap, bigger than the original estimates, to be covered by the car park dowry. Just at the moment the car park dowry should be looking pretty good, given the absurd cost of property in Crouch End, but completely unrealisable, as no developer would shell out for a project beset by such doubt.