Having had time to study the webcast of last Thursday’s county council meeting, I can now provide an accurate account of what was said by Cllr David Pugh when he challenged my claim that the area of rendering (125 sq m) in the tender for 25 Dimond Street Pembroke Dock had been grossly overmeasured compared to what was shown on the drawings (50 sq m). (see Stretching the truth).
My website post also claimed that the painting of this same render (300 sq m) was an even greater exaggeration.
This is what Cllr Pugh actually said:
“And just to bring you up to date with Cllr Stoddart’s blog – he raises further issues with the rendering at No. 25.
He has used his expertise to calculate the sum of the front and rear at approximately 84 sq m [There is some confusion here because what I said was that the total area of the front and back elevations was 82 sq m, but when the windows were excluded the area of wall remaining to be rendered was 50 sq m].
But he asserts that the Bills of Quantities contains 125 sq m.
So, hey ho, it must be fraud! [Fraud is nowhere mentioned in my blogpost of 7 December.]
Although by appearance this property is a mid-terrace one, there is an access to the rear which has a third side elevation of 8m x 7m or a further 56 sq m.
If you add the two together you get 140 sq m.
OK, if we take off the allowance for the windows it is not far off the the 125 sq m quoted.
So, whether this is a deliberate untruth, or incompetence on his behalf in not checking the facts, I’ll let you all decide.”
On Sunday afternoon, I took a run down to Pembroke Dock just to make sure that I hadn’t overlooked anything.
After all, Cllr Pugh seemed absolutely certain of his facts, so certain indeed that he felt they justified branding me as either a liar or an incompetent.
But I could find no sign of the 8m x 7m side elevation belonging to No. 25.
In the photo below, No. 25 – the building with the long narrow window – extends roughly from the drainpipe to the right of that window to the wall of the adjoining property on the left.
The light grey building (centre), just above the cars, with the lean-to on the end, is an extension to the rear of No. 27.
The detached building to the far right is part of No. 23 (end of terrace).
The lower picture shows the roof of No. 25 running from the chimney on the right to the wall of the extension to No. 27.
By the way, does this look like a building that has just had £93,000 spent on it – £27,000 provided by the taxpayer?
And did any of the long list of auditors read out by Cllr Johnny Allen-Mirehouse at last week’s council meeting, ever get their shoes dirty by visiting any of these sites?
It seems clear to me that No. 25 has no 7 m x 8 m “side elevation” to the rear that fits the description given during Cllr Pugh’s speech.
Excluding this phantom wall, and the windows, we arrive back at the 50 sq m that I calculated on my website on 7 December .
It was also significant that Cllr Pugh didn’t find time in his long speech to mention the other item I referred to in my posting of December 7 – the 300 sq m included in the BoQ for painting these same walls?
Or was it that no amount of fancy footwork and imagined 56 m sq side elevations could get the area to be painted anywhere near that figure?
So, if there is any “deliberate untruth” or “incompetence” involved, it isn’t down to me.