Monday, 9 March 2009

Reading Civic Centre Waste Of Money

I wrote a letter to the local press in September 2006, saying the proposed Rebuild of the Civic Centre was a waste of money. The reasons the Labour Council gave for replacing it was that it was old, actually its far newer than most of Reading, Victorian houses were built to last. They also talked about the new one being greener, costing less to heat and cool. Actually knocking down a structurally sound building is not at all green. My suggestion was that they refurbish it to improve the insulation, as has been done on other buildings of a similar age.

The big three 'Grey' Parties all agreed on this policy at the time. But now, in economically troubled times, people are looking to make savings. Particularly as its been revealed that plans and designs have already £3.7 million!

I think its a good idea to change your mind when circumstances change, its a sign of intelligence. Of course its even better when you were right in the first place.

Lib Dem
Common Sense
Independant Jones


Submitted by Adrian Windisch on 28 September 2006 - 1:01pm
RBC say we have no money for collecting bins weekly but were finding £54 million to spend on a new Civic Centre! Does anyone believe that at around 30 years old it needs replacing? Have they sought everal quotes from different companies to refurbish it? I would advise them to contact Integer who have experience of converting a tower block with similar problems into a sustainable building; improving insulation and shading windows to reduce heating and cooling. See integer . They should look at different schemes and estimate the carbon cost as well as the financial costs involved.

If the decision is taken to build another one can we ensure it is designed to last for at least a hundred years, with passive solar heating, cooling and levels of insulation far above the minimum levels set by current building regulations. Is this about a sustainable future or building a monument to some rather large egos.

Adrian Windisch
Reading Green Party
18 Kent Road, Reading, RG30 2EJ
0118 9567190


Adrian Windisch said...

At vast expense Mace has been commissioned to develop a greenwash plan for the civic centre.

The idea is to grab land from the Hosier St market, put a new build on it at great cost of embodied energy. One of the reasons given for this exercise is to save energy!

Adrian Windisch said...

I asked RBC if they had any plans that could be seen, and was told the project is on ice at the moment, with nothing to see.

Glenn said...

Cheers for the post on my blog.

There are no plans at the moment because there has been a 'reset'. The Civic board will be sorting out the twin-track process which I explain here:

Reuse is always the better option! Not sure if the current building can be dragged into the 21st Century and thanks to the other two parties, we'll never know :(

If you want to be really depressed, look above the security hatch in the Civic!

Adrian Windisch said...

Cheers Glen, your well informed. Holding the balance of power means they may not be able to do this, particularly in the current economic climate. There are advantages to being a Cllr.

There are for instance empty office blocks that would be delighted to give RBC a long lease.

Glenn said...

True, and the Woolworths could be used as a customer service outlet for the council.

Howebver, to own your Civic office does have big advantages. i.e. you can't be turfed out.

I'm trying to keep an open mind to all possibilities - although thanks to the Toriy/Labour motion these options are a little limited. :(