As I said earlier today, Cllr David Pugh has now admitted that his claims: that a “third side elevation” at 25 Dimond Street Pembroke Dock invalidated my comparison between the amount of rendering in the tender (125 sq m) and what was actually shown on the drawings (50 sq m), were completely without foundation.
It would appear that Cllr Pugh and the Leader visited the site recently – accompanied by an officer, presumably – and got themselves mixed-up between Nos 25 and 27.
It is surprising that the officer, who I presume was present, and who should have been familiar with the layout of the buildings, didn’t put them straight.
Had he/she done so, it would have prevented Cllr Pugh and, by association, the Leader, making complete fools of themselves.
It wouldn’t have been too bad if this had been a simple factual mistake, but Cllr Pugh saw my “error” as a chance to rub my nose in the dirt and he told the council with more than a hint of triumph in his voice: “So, is this a deliberate untruth, or sheer incompetence on his behalf by not checking the facts? I’ll leave you to decide.”
A reader emailed to ask if I thought the vote might have been different had all members been aware of the truth.
Sadly I had to explain that the synchronised voters of the IPPG are only pretend-independents because the vast majority always vote the party line regardless of the evidence.
I did actually try to explain about the wall at the rear of No 25 (1:02:17 into the tape) but the chairman shut me up.
The upshot is that it is Cllr Pugh who now stands guilty of “sheer incompetence” because the wall he was using as a stick to beat me with belonged to a different property altogether, and when I challenged him to give its precise location he had no alternative but to swallow large helpings of humble pie.
This is his apology:
When we were rechecking all the allegations you had made about the grant schemes in P Dock we physically checked a lot of buildings and the work done by all the grant applicants. We tried to get as up to date picture as we could and decided to check your late (sic) allegation regarding the rendering of 25 Dimond street.
I freely admit that we made a mistake in looking at the rear of the properties in Dimond Street and confused nos 25 and 27. I take full responsibility for the genuine error and hereby offer an unreserved apology for the remarks I made in Council regarding the rendering of no 25 Dimond street.
So far, so good.
But then he rather spoils things by returning to attack-dog mode by concluding with the following:
“Having said that, I hope you will also take the opportunity to put on record that most of your allegations regarding these grant schemes have proved to be without foundation and incorrect.”
I note that only “most” of my allegations are “without foundation and incorrect”, so I have emailed Cllr Pugh asking him to say which he agrees with, and which he contests.
In any case, the council resolved to ask the audit committee to investigate my concerns, so it would rather defeat the object of the exercise if I were to concede that there was nothing to investigate.
I will be sticking to my guns, and we will see what transpires.
In the meantime, I have asked Cllr Pugh to enlighten me, and other councillors, on some other points of interest.
“1. As it was this phantom wall that you used to refute my claims that the hacking off, re-rendering and painting of the external walls at No.25 Dimond Street were grossly over-measured in the tender documents – hacking off and re-rendering by two-and -a-half times and painting by six – can I take it that you now accept that my calculations were substantially correct?
Can you provide an explanation as to why this huge discrepancy was not picked up during the tender evaluation process?
2.There are several other anomalies in these tender documents which you might also care to consider.
To give just two examples:
(a) On page 14 of the BoQ, item m, we find painting bargeboards, fascias and soffits 25 sq m.
As the building is 6m wide (x 2 for front and back) the fascias would have to be 2m deep i.e. covering most of the upstairs windows, for this area to be achieved, and
(b) Page 14 item i painting door linings and architraves 55 sq m
What is known in the trade as the “girth” of these items is roughly 0.25 m (door lining 140 mm and architrave 50mm x 2) so to get to 55 sq m there would need to be 220 m run.
As the distance round a door lining is roughly 5m, that would equate to 44 doors, though there are only 13 shown on the drawings.
I look forward to your observations.”