£1m spend on seawall consultants

Echo: The Friends of Shoebury Common Ray Bailey, Peter Grubb and Peter Lovett The Friends of Shoebury Common Ray Bailey, Peter Grubb and Peter Lovett

SOUTHEND Council is spending more than £1million on consultants to push through its controversial plans to improve flood defences, the Echo can reveal.

The authority has already paid £394,000 to international firm Black and Veatch for its work on the £5.18million Shoebury Common seawall, before a brick has been laid or even a complete design drawn up.

Now the council, which already has its own in-house coastal defence engineer, has signed a £768,000 contract with global engineering firm Mott MacDonald to carry out its shoreline strategy over the next five years.

Peter Lovett, of anti-seawall campaign group the Friends of Shoebury Common, said: “I’m flabbergasted.

“To spend £1million and the design hasn’t been completed yet – there’s no word for it.

“If the Shoebury Common wall fails to get planning permission, the council has thrown £400,000 down the drain and this at a time when it is closing care homes and libraries.”

Fellow member Ray Bailey said: “It’s unbelievable, absolutely disgraceful.

“Here we go again. What a waste of money. Just look over the town at how much money the council has wasted.”

The Echo revealed Black and Veatch had been paid almost £100,000 last July, but its fees, which exclude the multi-million cost of building the seawall, have quadrupled in six months. Black and Veatch drew up three schemes to improve flood defences between Shoebury and Thorpe Bay to protect up to 500 homes in Shoebury from coastal flooding by 2050.

But a planning application for the Tory administration’s preferred scheme for a 2m-high earth embankment across Shoebury Common, opposed by eight out of ten respondents to the council’s own public consultation, is yet to be submitted and the firm is yet to finalise its plan for shoring up the seawall at Thorpe Bay Gardens, which is part of the scheme.

Mott MacDonald’s new contract for implementing the shoreline strategy, which Black and Veatch bid for, but failed to win, will include designing flood defence improvements for elsewhere in the borough.

Deputy council leader John Lamb, who is responsible for sea defences, insisted it would cost more to employ officers to design schemes and the council is getting value for money.

Mr Lamb said: “This is a specialist area. You can’t just use the general engineers we have.

“Black and Veatch will finish off the final design.

“We aren’t bringing in people willynilly.

"We only bring them in as and when we need them.”

Comments (12)

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4:05pm Thu 30 Jan 14

You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat says...

Ha it's the hapless sign makers
Ha it's the hapless sign makers You'dfeelbetterforknowingthat

4:19pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Howard Cháse says...

It's all gone consultant crazy this week.

Where can I apply to get a job as a consultant?
It's all gone consultant crazy this week. Where can I apply to get a job as a consultant? Howard Cháse

4:22pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Howard Cháse says...

You'dfeelbetterforkn
owingthat
wrote:
Ha it's the hapless sign makers
It's a stich up......
[quote][p][bold]You'dfeelbetterforkn owingthat[/bold] wrote: Ha it's the hapless sign makers[/p][/quote]It's a stich up...... Howard Cháse

4:32pm Thu 30 Jan 14

shallotman says...

If you must use consultants. Shouldn't it be a Dutch firm.
If you must use consultants. Shouldn't it be a Dutch firm. shallotman

4:52pm Thu 30 Jan 14

the25man says...

Best person for the job and knows his stuff is KING CANUTE
Best person for the job and knows his stuff is KING CANUTE the25man

4:52pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Southend Andy says...

Just let them flood.
Just let them flood. Southend Andy

4:59pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Howard Cháse says...

the25man wrote:
Best person for the job and knows his stuff is KING CANUTE
What a bunch of silly Canutes
[quote][p][bold]the25man[/bold] wrote: Best person for the job and knows his stuff is KING CANUTE[/p][/quote]What a bunch of silly Canutes Howard Cháse

5:32pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Dan-Hockley says...

Given recent flooding across the country, the fact that the London Barrier is going up and down more often than a proverbial lady of the night, then it does seem prudent to investigate what can feasibly be done to avoid or minimise the effect of flooding .... but .... this seems an extortionate amount and I can't help but feel that the council are being a little unwise with the amount of money that's being committed.
Given recent flooding across the country, the fact that the London Barrier is going up and down more often than a proverbial lady of the night, then it does seem prudent to investigate what can feasibly be done to avoid or minimise the effect of flooding .... but .... this seems an extortionate amount and I can't help but feel that the council are being a little unwise with the amount of money that's being committed. Dan-Hockley

7:22pm Thu 30 Jan 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

Howard Cháse wrote:
It's all gone consultant crazy this week.

Where can I apply to get a job as a consultant?
well you will need to pay a large chunk of coin of the realm to a firm of consultants who will then put you on to another firm of consultants who will then consult another team of consultants and once the consultants have all consulted you may well clinch a job as a consultant, and only then can you charge others large sums of other peoples money to consult them on any matter that needs consulting on.
Good Luck.
[quote][p][bold]Howard Cháse[/bold] wrote: It's all gone consultant crazy this week. Where can I apply to get a job as a consultant?[/p][/quote]well you will need to pay a large chunk of coin of the realm to a firm of consultants who will then put you on to another firm of consultants who will then consult another team of consultants and once the consultants have all consulted you may well clinch a job as a consultant, and only then can you charge others large sums of other peoples money to consult them on any matter that needs consulting on. Good Luck. DogsMessInLeigh

9:53pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Britanniaman says...

Dan-Hockley wrote:
Given recent flooding across the country, the fact that the London Barrier is going up and down more often than a proverbial lady of the night, then it does seem prudent to investigate what can feasibly be done to avoid or minimise the effect of flooding .... but .... this seems an extortionate amount and I can't help but feel that the council are being a little unwise with the amount of money that's being committed.
I agree it does need looking into for future flooding.
Also if something was done Dedman might be able to sell that house for 2 mil beachfront house at Garrison Development you would have to be crazy to buy that after whats happen to houses that close to the sea.
[quote][p][bold]Dan-Hockley[/bold] wrote: Given recent flooding across the country, the fact that the London Barrier is going up and down more often than a proverbial lady of the night, then it does seem prudent to investigate what can feasibly be done to avoid or minimise the effect of flooding .... but .... this seems an extortionate amount and I can't help but feel that the council are being a little unwise with the amount of money that's being committed.[/p][/quote]I agree it does need looking into for future flooding. Also if something was done Dedman might be able to sell that house for 2 mil beachfront house at Garrison Development you would have to be crazy to buy that after whats happen to houses that close to the sea. Britanniaman

6:04am Fri 31 Jan 14

Keptquiettillnow says...

Britanniaman wrote:
Dan-Hockley wrote:
Given recent flooding across the country, the fact that the London Barrier is going up and down more often than a proverbial lady of the night, then it does seem prudent to investigate what can feasibly be done to avoid or minimise the effect of flooding .... but .... this seems an extortionate amount and I can't help but feel that the council are being a little unwise with the amount of money that's being committed.
I agree it does need looking into for future flooding.
Also if something was done Dedman might be able to sell that house for 2 mil beachfront house at Garrison Development you would have to be crazy to buy that after whats happen to houses that close to the sea.
More likely to subside into the sea before it floods.
[quote][p][bold]Britanniaman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Dan-Hockley[/bold] wrote: Given recent flooding across the country, the fact that the London Barrier is going up and down more often than a proverbial lady of the night, then it does seem prudent to investigate what can feasibly be done to avoid or minimise the effect of flooding .... but .... this seems an extortionate amount and I can't help but feel that the council are being a little unwise with the amount of money that's being committed.[/p][/quote]I agree it does need looking into for future flooding. Also if something was done Dedman might be able to sell that house for 2 mil beachfront house at Garrison Development you would have to be crazy to buy that after whats happen to houses that close to the sea.[/p][/quote]More likely to subside into the sea before it floods. Keptquiettillnow

1:54pm Fri 31 Jan 14

w-jback says...

Dan-Hockley wrote:
Given recent flooding across the country, the fact that the London Barrier is going up and down more often than a proverbial lady of the night, then it does seem prudent to investigate what can feasibly be done to avoid or minimise the effect of flooding .... but .... this seems an extortionate amount and I can't help but feel that the council are being a little unwise with the amount of money that's being committed.
The other way to look at it is, despite some of the highest tides for many years and the sea overtopping the seafront further west, Shoebury Common remained dry so whats the point of a higher wall?
[quote][p][bold]Dan-Hockley[/bold] wrote: Given recent flooding across the country, the fact that the London Barrier is going up and down more often than a proverbial lady of the night, then it does seem prudent to investigate what can feasibly be done to avoid or minimise the effect of flooding .... but .... this seems an extortionate amount and I can't help but feel that the council are being a little unwise with the amount of money that's being committed.[/p][/quote]The other way to look at it is, despite some of the highest tides for many years and the sea overtopping the seafront further west, Shoebury Common remained dry so whats the point of a higher wall? w-jback

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