User menu

Demolition of old Sobell Leisure Centre Aberdare Construction of new Athletics Stadium.

 

Following a freedom of information request by AberdareOnline regarding the old Michael Sobell Sports Centre in an attempt to apply some sort of timescale cost of asbestos removal and construction of new Track and Field facility.

 

From the response we received Rhondda Cynon Taf Council were reluctant to provide answers to all our questions, I would seem there is a major problem with asbestos in the old building and RCTC were not prepared to divulge the original cost of removal of asbestos from the old Sobell Centre nether would they disclose the or original cost for demolition of the centre.

 

The original completion date for demolition of the old Sobell Leisure Centre 20th March 2015, the Aberdare Community School also on the Ynys site was around 12 months behind its original completion date.

 

We believe Aberdare Valley Amateur Athletics Club just want a firm answer as to when the construction of new Track and Field facility will take place and a firm completion date. RCTC should have some indication of when this is scheduled or is it just an open checkbook for the contractor and consultants with no timescales provided?

 

Below is the response for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council

 

We refer to your Freedom of Information Request in respect of the demolition of the Sobell Leisure Centre, Aberdare.  The Authority’s response is set out below:

The original start date for demolition of the old Sobell Leisure Centre?

22 September 2014.

The original completion date for demolition of the old Sobell Leisure Centre?

20 March 2015.

The start date for construction of new Athletics Stadium?

This will take place immediately following demolition of the Sports Centre.

The revised completion date for demolition of the old Sobell Leisure Centre?

The original cost for demolition of the old Sobell Leisure Centre?

The final cost for demolition of the old Sobell Leisure Centre?

 

 

 

The original cost of removal of asbestos from the old Sobell Leisure Centre?

 

 

 

The final cost of removal of asbestos from the old Sobell Leisure Centre?

 

The completion date of the new Athletics Stadium?

With regard to the six queries above, unfortunately we are unable to provide this information as we believe the information to be commercially sensitive and is exempt information under Section 43(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 which deals with prejudice to commercial interests.

 

This is a qualified exemption and we have therefore applied the public interest test. In making this decision we have weighed such factors as the Council's desire to be open and transparent in all its dealings against the need to ensure that it is able to contract openly in the market place and also to protect the commercial interests of those companies and bodies it deals with.

 

Financial negotiations are still ongoing, therefore the Authority feels that if it were to disclose the cost of demolition and removal of asbestos and the expected time frames at this moment in time, this could harm the commercial interests of the third party company and undermine current negotiations.  

 

Accordingly, insofar as this element of your request is concerned and in accordance with Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act ("the Act") this email acts as a Refusal Notice.

 

As you may be aware, you have a right of appeal against this decision.  If you wish to exercise this right please set out in writing your grounds and send your appeal to the Council's Corporate Feedback Co-ordinator.  Her name is Mrs Christine Macey and she may be reached at Chris.Macey@rhondda-cynon-taff.gov.uk or on 01443 424076.

 

Additionally you may, if you wish, find out more about the Act from the Information Commissioner at http://www.ico.gov.uk/ 

 

Corporate Governance Team 

 

Comments

For the attention of Mrs. Christine Macey
Corporate Feedback Co-ordinator
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council

Ref: Non discloser of information

27 July 2015

Dear Mrs. Macey,

Your freedom of information officer requested I contact you with regard to the above before I write to Anne Jones, the Assistant Commissioner for Wales.

The revised completion date for demolition of the old Sobell Leisure Centre?

I cannot understand why RCTC cannot answer this simple question you will not be disclosing any companies information.

By not disclosing this information RCTC are telling the public they haven a clue what is going on at the Old Sobell Centre and you have no program of the work or timescale of the proposed work involved. It looks to an outsider that you are allowing a contractor to have an open checkbook if you do not have a work program in place.

The original cost for demolition of the old Sobell Leisure Centre?

Again you don’t have to name contractor who gained the original contract this is public money and the public have a right to know the costs of projects.

The original cost of removal of asbestos from the old Sobell Leisure Centre?

Having worked in construction for over 50 years 30 as site manager asbestos removal is just an open checkbook, it was obvious there would be masses of asbestos in the old center. The cost would have been in the bill of quantities with a contingency added for unseen circumstances. Again I can’t see why this information is being kept away from the public, unless someone is making a killing on the revised price.

AberdareOnline

I acknowledge receipt of your FOI appeal.

The matter will be referred to the Service Director Legal Services to undertake a review of your case and a response will be issued to you within 20 working days of receipt of your appeal.

Yours sincerely

Mrs C. Macey

Principal Democratic Services Officer.

The 20 working days? No response

As a child beginning my life in the village of Oakdale Monmouthshire, we lived in  Nissen huts constructed for Bevin Boys, I refer to 1949. I remember being told by my mother not to play in the huts that were in the process of being demolished, but being a boy and not taking too much notice Myself and butties continued to play as kids do. I remember some of the ceilings hanging down and a feeling of tiny pin pricks on both my arms. 

Eventually it was our turn to move out of Llwynon Estate ;  and move to a new housing estate called Farm Close. Although I had little knowledge of asbestos the brand new garden sheds were constructed of asbestos; my father didn't like me spending too much time in the shed. 

What worries me the most is! The authorities knew of the dangers but continued to build schools and other amenities containing asbestos. The mantra being 'it's safe if I undisturbed' 

what about human nature, fire, and other disturbances?

I feel as though I've been p****d on

Simple the track won't be built for years to come because someone or some company has spent all the money that RCT had available for the track on the removal of the asbestos.

A big mistake by some fat cat AGAIN.