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posted 1 Apr 2011, 04:46 by David Gilroy   [ updated 1 Apr 2011, 09:15 ]
Ahead of District Council elections on Thursday 5th May 2011 PoolTooSmall's non-political founder takes an Unfit For Purpose  Newbodge In House Project Team to task. Read all about it online now by clicking on
 “SIR:- May I , as a founder of the PoolTooSmall group on respond to SADC CEO Mr Goodwin’s letter you published 16th March  where he failed to successfully defend the ill-fated Westminster Bodge project. I am also writing  in my capacity as a professional engineer for 50 years, 40 of them at senior level both on site and later as a European and Chartered Engineer at national and international level.
I fully respect Mr Goodwin’s wish to support his “team” of officers employed  in various departments by  SADC –whom he alleges are “doing a great job”.
No Sir -not always.
The difficulty I have with his letter is that the “team” that has blundered for years, which the people are complaining about,  is not his team at all – it is the Westminster Bodge IN HOUSE Project Team. It was formed in about 2004/5 and today is effectively comprised of 2 or 3 elected Councillors all of the same ruling political faction  together with 2 or 3 highly paid officers of the Council. In this case we presently appear to have Chair of Cabinet (a Cllr), Leisure Portfolio Holder (a cllr) , Head of Leisure Dept ( an officer ) and the Project Manager ( an officer ).
Outside this exclusive “minority of 4“ are outside architects ,contractors and  consultants brought in ( and disposed of ) over the years by politicians driving the project. I call it “divide and rule “.
The shortcomings of this project are well documented – wrong site , grossly inadequate Main Pool size to meet future demand, no diving facilities whatsover or flumes and an exorbitant bad value for money £25 million price tag. I and other professional colleagues have studied the evidence for over a year and have concluded that the project team has blundered so many times that we declare it  Unfit for Purpose. Their most infamous hour, of many, was the McNamara Debacle when they failed to find the £1 billion McNamara Co ( SADC’s  chosen contractor) debt after 5 months and we PoolTooSmall found it in 30 seconds by Googling on line!
Mr Goodwin refers to the Council podcasts to demonstrate their “open , professional way “.
Well, let me refer him to the first 8 minutes of the Cabinet meeting podcast of 8th March 2011 . Here I have immense sympathy for Cabinet Chair Cllr Robert Donald , who visibly angry , had been let down by  the BODGE project Team  specifically his absent Leisure Portfolio Holder and the Project Manager – leaving Head of Leisure to flounder badly.
Actions 2.5 and 2.6 of  the special August 2010 Cabinet meeting of 6 MONTHS BEFORE  on 2 key items specifically actioned  to the above by Cllr Donald had not been followed up by the “BODGE” team at all or even appeared on the night’s Cabinet agenda! Dereliction of duty?
These 2 action items are at the heart of the people’s opposition to the NEWBODGE project – hundreds of square metres deficiency of waterspace and Main  Pool (queues out the door ) overflow management - the moment this NEWBODGE White Elephant is opened !
Mr Goodwin is automatically defending  his officers (some of whom have now turned out to be  incompetent) who are paid handsomely , in the case of the NEWBODGE, to defend an unforgiveable White Elephant. The root of this project’s problems is that IN HOUSE team has never ,to this day,had a professional of Chief Engineer calibre to develop the specification  , then steer and steady the ship . This is why Mr Goodwin and Cllr Donald are floundering with a Pig in a Poke of their own creation and will do so with this project for the rest of their days.
Like conscientious objectors  , Mr Goodwin and his “team” don’t have to support an incompetent and disingenuous  political “BODGE” team.
Turning to Cllrs Donald and Rowlands’ spin and casuistry in the Review of 23rd March. The bottom line is getting it right and delivering Value for Money.
For about the same spend of about £25 million,never mind where it comes from ,Luton Aquatic Centre gives their people Olympic Heaven 50 metre swimming , Olympic standard diving plus all the trimmings ,gym ,cafe etc .
In comparison St. Albans‘ NEWBODGE team gives us an inadequate 25 metre main pool “Pig in a Poke”, no diving or flumes whatsoever  but a SPA for the well to do amongst their offerings. It’s a no brainer, hats off to Luton Aquatic Centre – St.Albans NEWBODGE  IN HOUSE project team hang your heads in shame!
And on Thursday 5th May 2011 , the people can ,if they wish, pass judgement on the NEWBODGE politicians in District Council Elections.
God willing on 6th May you, Mr Goodwin, and your “team” will still be in a job although some of them may not deserve to be.
However, you may wake up to new political masters when the people have had their say on this bad value for money £25 Million White Elephant after District Council elections on Thursday 5th May 2011.
Cllrs Donald,Rowlands and Burton – all your chickens are coming home to roost soon - and quite right too! What would Lord Sugar say?
You can read much more on here for you 24/7/365 on email We have no political status.
Yours sincerely,
Eur. Ing David L.Gilroy. M.Sc. C.Eng. MIET. Chartered Engineer.
24 March 2011.”