Latest news on COLPAI working hours

Here is correspondence I’ve had with the City Corporation’s Policy Chair and the Community Services Chair after the government recently published guidance promoting longer working hours on construction sites:

My email to the Policy Chair and Community and Children’s Services Chair on 14 May

Will you undertake that the City Corporation, as the developer of the COLPAI project, will not seek permission to extend the working hours on the site in the light of government guidance published yesterday… on the ground that the extremely close proximity of the site to a densely populated residential estate is a “compelling reason” within the exceptions in that guidance ….?

Email from the Community and Children’s Services Chair on 15 May
It is my understanding that we will not request and will not support any request to extend the hours.

Email from the Policy Chair on 15 May
Members will have just seen the all-Court email that has just gone out…

My email to the Policy Chair and Community Services Chair on 18 May

I have circulated your response to residents and note that the Corporation will effectively follow the government’s latest guidance that construction working hours should not be extended where “impacts on densely populated areas would be unreasonable”, and that the Corporation will not request that hours be extended in relation to its own COLPAI development.
The latest guidance issued by the government could be interpreted as meaning that it did not expect construction work to continue at all in these circumstances for the duration of lockdown, and that it assumed that local authorities would act responsibly in dealing with this type of situation.
The Corporation’s statement issued last Friday that “we understand residents’ concerns” is an instance of its words and actions not matching. It should not expect that it can use this statement to draw a line under the ongoing situation in Golden Lane.
A number of complaints have been logged by residents about the contractor’s continuing breaches of the rules, but I don’t think residents trust the Corporation to take meaningful action in response.
It is disappointing that the Corporation is not showing moral leadership in this crisis, using the pretext of doing whatever the government says, especially as the latest guidance casts doubt on whether the Corporation has actually been following the original guidance.

And now…

The Policy Chair and Community Services Chair have not replied to my last email.

Late on Friday I was informed that the contractor on the COLPAI project, ISG, had itself applied for an extension of working hours, which was turned down.
This does nothing, though, to stop the deepening harm that is being done to Golden Lane residents by the Corporation allowing normal work to continue during normal hours at this abnormal time. That is evident from the first hand testimony which Jacqueline Swanson has provided:… .

Our local MP has again been asked to take this issue up with the Corporation.

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