Parliament Spending £80 Million to Find Out How Much Renovation will Cost

Parliament’s restoration and renewal saga has hit another expensive milestone today as authorities begin an £80 million four-year programme to survey the estate. Surveyors are being recruited to scour the Palace of Westminster over the next half-a-decade, carrying out over 100 surveys to map what has to be done to preserve, restore, and renew the crumbling parliamentary estate. Costs for the full programme are currently guesstimated to be in the region of £12 billion.  Spending £80 million to find out a specific sum for how much the programme will cost is more thick of it than the thick of it…

mdi-timer 29 March 2021 @ 16:21 29 Mar 2021 @ 16:21 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Crumbling Parliament Closes Off Entrances

Swathes of Parliament were closed off to entry and exit last night as once again crumbling masonry forced authorities to put up police tape, cutting off access to the south side of the palace. This comes just a week after a fire sprang to life in the basement of the building. Yesterday evening Tory MPs received a message from whips informing them that:

“Please note that, owing to falling masonry, Black Rods Garden Entrance and St. Stephens Entrance have had to close.

There are also issues with the scaffolding at Cromwell Green Entrance and this will also be closing soon.”

In 2018 MPs voted for a “full and timely decant” of Parliament in order to carry out substantive repair work and end the era of patching the building which, despite constant work, is falling into a state of disrepair. Whilst this is set to begin in 2025, a large chunk of Tory MPs are not at all keen on moving…

mdi-timer 30 June 2020 @ 09:01 30 Jun 2020 @ 09:01 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Fire in the Commons Basement Yesterday

MPs were surprised to hear a warning ringing through some offices yesterday from Commons authorities alerting them to a fire in the basement. Whilst not an everyday occurrence, fires are not hugely rare in the creaking building these days. This website’s inspiration may yet have the last laugh…

“Attention please, attention please, fire has been reported in the basement. Please leave the basement immediately by the nearest exit.”

There were four fires last year, and eight in 2018. The more MPs put off more comprehensive restoration and renewal, the more likely the palace is to go the way of Notre Dame

mdi-timer 23 June 2020 @ 10:32 23 Jun 2020 @ 10:32 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
WATCH Big Ben’s Renovation Up Close

Guido’s come across a fascinating mini-documentary for you to pass some self-isolation time with this evening, as B1M shows us up close and personal how the renovation of Elizabeth Tower is coming along. The film was made in January this year and shows in detail the amount of effort and coordination it’s taking to scrub up the world’s most iconic clock. It looks like they’re doing a good job – though you’d expect so for £80 million…

mdi-timer 16 April 2020 @ 16:54 16 Apr 2020 @ 16:54 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
PCH Luxury Furniture Refurb Totals £28,000

The continuing dilapidation of Portcullis House has been well-documented; most recently seeing the removal of its continually-breaking water feature. On Monday, MPs and Staffers arrived to see Parliament authorities have gone too far the other way – removing the low-quality temporary tables and chairs that had replaced the fountains and replacing them with luxury designer sofas and leather armchairs. Is this signalling a new era of sofa government?…

The Times have totalled the cost of the furniture at almost £28,000, although knowing the public sector the work put into buying and installing them will total many thousands more. Work and Pensions Secretary Thérèse Coffey took the Commons Authorities to task over the absurd cost, saying

“These are the same authorities that don’t provide appropriate office chairs or lighting for a working environment, helped by the fact that we are in a royal palace and not technically subject to health and safety legislation”

The sofas and armchairs form part of PCH’s new “agile working zone” – which is questionable as none of the chairs recline…

mdi-timer 19 February 2020 @ 15:15 19 Feb 2020 @ 15:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
PCH Refurbishment Due as Soon as Restoration and Renewal Project Ends

Mice were spotted running around the Portcullis House kitchen area earlier this week, in news that will not settle the minds (or the stomachs) of people who work on the Parliamentary Estate. PCH is only eighteen years old and yet already it is breaking at the seams; with broken fountains being removed, leaking office roofs, broken air conditioning, windows cracking in extreme heat, dying trees, and mice in abundance. Blair’s PFI palace is falling to pieces…

Guido hears that senior parliamentary authorities are expecting to have to begin extensive refurbishment work on Portcullis House as soon as the unprecedented restoration and renewal work in the Palace of Westminster winds up. Complete PCH refurbishment will be extensive, expensive, and difficult as the £235 million structure is built into Westminster Tube Station below. Just as MPs and their staff thought they would be able to finally have some peace and quiet…

mdi-timer 12 February 2020 @ 15:08 12 Feb 2020 @ 15:08 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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