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Completion Update 11
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Logo(Note: This newssheet is reproduced by kind permission of the Commission for the New Towns now known as English Partnerships. It is published for general interest and research purposes only and may not be reproduced for other purposes except with the permission of English Partnerships who now hold the copyright of LDDC publications)

Contents

Text of the June 1997 edition of Completion Update, a periodic newssheet issued by the LDDC’s Completion Team, in liaison with Personnel, to keep staff up to date with the completion programme.

Ministers Confirm Wind Up Programme 
The Strategic Highways
Merger
New Director at GOL
David Lowman's Bit

~ Performance Related Pay
~ Outplacement Flyers
~ Staffing Plan Letters
~ Career Development - Phase 4
~ Absence Rate
~ Health Surveys
~ Compensation
~ Transfers

Project Closeouts
Office Notice 214
Autumn exit from the Isle of Dogs?
Remaining Project Applications
Royals Progress
Records Update
Community Trusts
Editorial
Veterans

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Completion Update LDDC LOgo

Issue Eleven - 17th June 1997
D minus 287 and counting!

Ministers Confirm Wind Up Programme

Govt LogoTHE new DoE Ministers have endorsed the current policy and timetable for the winding  up of all remaining UDCs.  They have also confirmed that they expect UDCs to continue to make every effort to deal effectively with all liabilities between now and 31 March 1998 - leaving an absolute minimum of liabilities and trailing wires for the Commission for the New Towns (as the UDC Residuary Body) to inherit.

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The Strategic HighwaysCar

THE new Government will need to confirm the preliminary decision, taken by the last Government, to trunk the Limehouse Link, Aspen Way and the Prestons Road Flyover. The procedures will in any case take a considerable time and it seems certain now that interim arrangements for the ownership, maintenance and management of these roads will have to be made.  This probably means that the LDDC will transfer the roads to either the Commission for the New Towns or the Secretary of State for the Environment as a going concern with existing personnel and equipment transferring with the roads .

Meanwhile, adoption discussions are in progress with the London Borough of Newham about the Lower Lea Crossing, the surface of the Connaught Crossing, Royal Albert Way and Royal Docks Road.  In the case of Royal Albert Way, the discussions involve also the Docklands Light Railway.  This is because the road and railway share some of the structures.

Contact:  Gareth Bendon (Extn. 3492)

Wedding BellsMerger

On Monday (16th June) the Environment and Transport Departments were merged to form the new Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR).

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New Director at GOLGOL Logo

Some of you will remember Genie Turton.   She is shortly to replace Robin Young as the Director of the Government Office for London.  Robin is to move to a new post at the Cabinet Office.

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David Lowman’s Bit

Performance Related Pay

The performance distribution system is to be changed this year so that the percentile bands are closer together.  This will achieve what the Corporation believes is a more equitable distribution of performance reward.  All staff should have had letters about this but if you have any questions please contact Peter Swordy (Extn.3311).Exclamation Mark

Outplacement Flyers

The Personnel Team has produced information leaflets on the outplacement services which all directly employed staff can look forward to.  This service offers help from the following consultants:

Grades 10-13     Coutts Career Consultants
Grades   9-6      Lee Hecht Harrison
Grades   1-5      CEPEC

For those staying to the end outplacement will commence in April 1998.

More information on the outplacement service can be obtained from Peter Swordy (Extn 3311).

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Staffing Plan Letters

The review of the Staffing Plan is now complete and everyone should be getting a new letter during June.  As before, these letters indicate the end dates for all posts. This should be the last such letter although those of us who believe in the constancy of change (not to mention  chaos theory!)  will not be surprised if the end result turns out to be different!

Contact: David Lowman (Extn. 3204)

Career Development - Phase 4

All staff and consultants should have received information and a questionnaire about the next phase of this valuable programme aimed at helping us to develop our career/lifestyle choices following the demise of the Corporation.

Call Gill Rodman (Extn 3277) or Lisa Kenneally (Extn 3487) for further details

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Leavers

Since the last issue we have said goodbye to:

Jeremy Diment, Deepti Arora, Milan Curcic and Shaun Andrews

Absence Rate

The Corporation had a comparatively low absence rate during  1996/97 - only 2.73% (mean average) of the total number of working days were taken as sick leave.  Taking the median figure this is actually 0.87% which is an excellent figured when compared to many other public sector and private bodies.

Health SurveysMedicl symbol

The Corporation is evaluating the success of its health programme and policies.  We carried out a Health Initiatives survey in March 1997 and we are now embarking on a series of other  surveys, the first of which is on smoking.  There will be confidential voucher prize draws for all those who respond.

Contact Peter Swordy (Extn.3311) 

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Compensation

Some staff it seems are nursing doubts about the Corporation’s intentions concerning additional compensation.  Avoid listening to ugly rumours!  The Corporation’s policy has been communicated to all staff.  The terms are clear and unequivocal and they are being applied to everyone as their turn comes. ‘Additional Compensation’  will be paid at 50% of gross pay to those whose post has been defined as “key” and who remain until the  date chosen by the Corporation.

Contact: David Lowman (Extn 3204)

Transfers

Likewise we hear on the grapevine that someone is saying you are all going to be transferred to successor bodies without compensation and to jobs with less pay.  Tosh, nonsense, rubbish, paranoia!  The terms on which some staff might be transferred to successor bodies remain to be resolved.   But rest assured the interests of those staff will be fully protected and there will be consultation with those concerned. At present it is thought there will be very few transfers.  If you are concerned about either compensation or transfers seek clarification from Personnel who will tell you what the real situation is.

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Project Closeouts

A recent EMT Report shows there has been good progress in closing out projects.  The total of outstanding projects is now down to 465.  If these are all to be closed out by March we will need to deal with the them at the rate of about 10 per week.

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Office Notice 214

To avoid, where possible, expenditure falling to the CNT, all projects in danger of overhanging 31st March 1998 are to be reviewed to see if it is possible, within the value for money and other constraints, to allow them to be paid off and closed out within the lifetime of the Corporation.  The arrangements for this are set out in Office Notice 214.  This is recommended reading for all Budget Holders and Project Managers. 

The Notice deals also with a change to the PIMS PEA process.  This now includes a Successor Body Confirmation Form which is generated each time a PEA is produced.  It is aimed at helping the dedesignation coordinators to log cases destined for our successors.

Additional copies of the Office Notice can be obtained from Jackie Connolly (Extn 3376).  Queries on completing the Successor Body Confirmation Form should be directed to Finance (Contact Nick Madina - extn 3567).

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Autumn exit from the Isle of Dogs?Isale of Dogs Map

It’s full steam ahead for the dedesignation of the Isle of Dogs (including South Poplar and Leamouth).  If everything keeps to timetable GOL will lay the necessary Alteration of Boundaries order in Parliament before the summer recess and the area will be dedesignated on 10th October 1997.

Critical to dedesignation is LBTH approval of the exit package negotiated with the Council’s officers. A Statement of Agreed Intentions, approved by EMT and the LDDC’s Executive Committee last week, goes to the Council’s regeneration Committee later this month.  It lays the basis for the transfer of public open spaces, river walls and riverside walkways to LBTH.  These liabilities are balanced by transfer to LBTH of the Travelodge hotel site in East India Dock, which has an income stream of at least £53k per year, and an endowment for the Isle of Dogs Community Foundation (IODCF) of £1.05m. The income from this will  fund a continuing community grants programme for the areas to be dedesignated.

Equally important, agreement has now been reached on the terms of the transfer of the West India and Millwall Dock Estate to British Waterways.  This disposes of one of our most significant liabilities.

Work continues on:

  • arrangements for the transfer and running of the Strategic Highways.
  • the DLR transfer.
  • the disposal of the LDDC’s residual freeholds in the core commercial estate, mostly to the lessees.
  • the formation of the East India Dock Management Company.
  • the resolution of outstanding issues with Canary Wharf Limited.

There is now agreement on the shape of these packages and work is well under way to implement them. The main burden of this will fall on the Estates Management surveyors. For some time they have been busy drawing up a work programme to deal with the outstanding liabilities. A feature of this is a huge master plan showing the many sites to be disposed of and who they are going to. 

In parallel with the dedesignation negotiations there have been discussions with the LBTH and community interests about LDDC funding for an exit package aimed at improving some of the community infrastructure and sustaining the development of the local communities over the immediate transitional period. Much of this expenditure, to which the LBTH is to contribute,  will involve further grants to the IODCF.  PIS submissions are expected shortly.

For further information contact Steve Shaw (Ext. 3263)

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EngineerRemaining Project Applications

With less than ten months to go it is imperative that all remaining project applications are submitted to EMT as soon as possible.  A recent report to EMT showed there are approximately 28 project applications still to go. Of these 18 are scheduled for submission by the original deadline of the end of June.  The other 10 projects are Exhibition Centre related, or awaiting the outcome of feasibility studies, and have been rescheduled for approval during the period July -September.  It is important that the revised target dates are achieved.

Contact: David Holmes (Extn:3461)

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Royals Progress

Royals Map

The Estates Management surveyors are just now completing the long process of sifting through the hundreds of property liabilities in the Royals and defining the work needed to deal with them.  Most will be swept up in mega land transfers to English Partnerships, the Docklands Light Railway and the London Borough of Newham.  These transfers, and a number of smaller ones, are now being defined on a huge master plan which the team hope to complete shortly.

Meanwhile, discussions are in progress with the successor bodies to settle the packages associated with these transfers of land.  Work is well advanced to agree the annual cost of the maintenance liabilities to be inherited by the LBN who are to take over the LDDC’s roads (including, notably, the Lower Lea Crossing, the surface of the Connaught Crossing, Royal Albert Way and Royal Docks Road) and a number of landscaped zones.  The resulting total will be capitalised and, as in Beckton, this will form the basis for LDDC’s funding of a number of LBN projects.  These include contributions towards the cost of the new secondary school at Prince Regent Lane, the new primary school at West Silvertown and a £1.5m endowment already paid to the Royal Docks Trust so that their community grants programme, already operating in Beckton, can be expanded to the rest of their area from April next.  

A similar package is to be negotiated with English Partnerships.  In exchange for the Corporation’s development sites in the Royals, EP are to take over the funding of the Royals  projects which will not be completed before April 1998.  To ensure a seamless transfer of these projects, the contracts are being entered into jointly with EP.

At the same time the Corporation is working jointly with EP and the LBN towards a strategy for the ongoing regeneration of the Royals.  This will be just a part of EP’s brief in East London.  They are also heavily engaged in the Millennium site on the Greenwich Peninsula and they have other large land holdings further east in the Thames Gateway area, notably Woolwich Arsenal.

Contact: Stuart Innes (Ext. 3334)

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Filing CabinetRecords Update

Records Manager, Craig Binks, reports that more than 1750 boxes of records are now in offsite storage.  These contain about 17000 files, reports and other documents, all of which have been listed and indexed on the Records Management Database.  The marathon project to build an inventory of the LDDC’s  records has reached Marketing and Public Affairs

The Corporation’s electronic records and data are to be backed up onto CD-ROM, including databases, WP files, spreadsheets, etc. This will allow the information, if required, to be more easily  transferred to our successor bodies. The first stage will be to transfer redundant databases onto CD-ROM, after which the project team will be contacting each department to draw up a schedule of relevant electronic records for possible handover.

Also in progress is the indexing of the Corporations’ drawings and plans ready for transfer. To date, 4700 original as-built drawings have been listed and entered onto the Records Database out of a total of 9500 in the building.

Discussions are in progress with the University of East London and the Museum of London about the transfer of LDDC’s historical Archives including photographs, videos, advertising literature, brochures, Board minutes, etc.

The Records Management Steering Committee is to have an enlarged membership.  It will now meet more regularly to help in decision making about the future of the LDDC’s files and records.

Contact: Craig Binks (Extn: 3229)

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Community TrustsPeople

The names of the Royal Docks Trust (London), the Isle of Dogs Community Foundation and the St Katharines and Shadwell Trust seem to pop-up with ever increasing frequency.  Who are they?  What is their role in our exit arrangements?

Community trusts are charitable bodies which aim to raise funds from local business and other sources to build an endowment fund the income of which is used to make grants for local community benefit.  Known as community foundations, organisations of this kind have operated in the US for many years.  Some of them are very well endowed and influential.  In this country the first such trusts appeared in the early 80's.  They have since  spread across much of the country.

In the expectation that such a Trust would be good for Docklands, the LDDC in the mid-80's sponsored the formation of the East End Community Trust (EECT).  This was not a great success because, it is thought, it was unable to generate a feeling of local ownership.  So it was decided to wind up the EECT and instead to establish 4 more locally focused trusts, one for each of the Docklands areas.  An attempt to establish a community trust for the Surrey Docks did not succeed but working in collaboration with the local authorities and local community interests the LDDC helped to establish Trusts for the other 3 areas which are now firmly established and operating smoothly.

Although the main focus of these Docklands trusts is to build endowments for grant giving they have the constitutional ability to engage in almost anything charitable and in this sense they tend to differ from similar trusts elsewhere in the country.  The trustees are representative of the local authority and of the local resident and business communities. Some of the trustees are elected.

A key feature of the Corporation's exit strategy has been a concern to sustain the various services offered by the voluntary sector which have been built up over the years with the support of the Corporation.  In Beckton, the Isle of Dogs and the Royals this has resulted in the de-designation packages agreed with the Boroughs including substantial grants to the Royal Docks Trust (London) and the Isle of Dogs Community Foundation to help build their endowments and thus their grant giving capacity.  The RDT(L) has had £2.7m and it is proposed shortly, as part of the de-designation package for the Isle of Dogs, that the IODCF should have about £1m to add to the £700k already in its endowment fund.  The IODCF will also benefit from other grants made for specific purposes.

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The Trusts are also accepting the transfer of the Corporation's residual freehold interest in a number of sites leased for community purposes.  In this way the underlying value in these lands is retained in the local area for the benefit of the community.

The Royal Docks Trust will also be entrusted with the Corporation's Special Share in the Winsor Park Management Company and our rights to any amount left in the Winsor Park Accumulation Fund.  Thus set up to provide funds should it ever be necessary over the next 80 years or so to carry out remedial works on the reclamation scheme on which the estate is built.  The fund is presently valued at about £4.5m.

In the case of the St Katharines and Shadwell Trust an endowment fund has been established to help enhance Ropemakers Fields and its environs.  The Corporation is contributing £60,000.  A similar fund is being set up with the IODCF for the benefit of Millwall Park into which the Corporation is putting in £300,000.

Finally, it is intended to deposit funds with both the IODCF and the RDT (L) to finance a number of community related projects which will not be completed before the LDDC ceases to operate.  Already in train is the funding for the Leisure Centre at Stoneyard Lane and the Corporation's £5m grant towards the secondary school at Prince Regent Lane.  Others may follow! 

Contact Stuart Innes (Extn 3334)

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Thoughful ManEditorial

Elsewhere in this issue our much beloved personnel person, David Lowman, reveals his irritation with the rumours which have been flying around lately about key posts, additional compensation and fears that some people might miss out if they are transferred with their work to successor bodies.  Here are the unvarnished facts. They are drawn from a recent missive of the said personnel person:

The policy in respect of key posts and additional compensation has been communicated to all staff.  Staff who occupy key posts can fully expect to receive 50% of gross pay on the date their contract terminates if that is the date set by the Corporation. 

‘Additional Compensation’ can be withheld if performance has been consistently poor or disciplinary action is taken against an individual member of staff.

The question of staff transferring to successor bodies  is very difficult. Where a member of LDDC’s staff is transferred the contract of employment in its entirety (except pension) is transferred as if the contract were seamless.  Where such a TUPE transfer occurs it is my view that redundancy entitlements would also transfer because they may be deemed contractual given the communication of the policy to all staff.  Individuals will not be forced to transfer.  In respect of ‘Additional Compensation’ this might also transfer, although this does require clarification from DoE.  Our intention would be to safeguard the position of employees where compensation is concerned and this is what we have done thus far,  e.g. in respect of the Marketing and Estates Maintenance contracting out.

I need only add that discussions with the successor bodies about staff are still at a very early stage. Only in the case of the Harbour staff, and those concerned with the maintenance of the strategic highways, is there much clarity at this stage.  For the rest  it will be a little while yet before the size of the workload to be transferred can be properly assessed and only then will it be possible to decide whether it is necessary to transfer staff and, if so, on what terms.

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Veterans

Barbara Stoakes

Barbara Stoakes (Head of Strategic Transport Projects) joined the Corporation in 1981, seconded from Tower Hamlets planning department with the job of smoothing planning relations between LDDC and the Council.  Before coming to East London she had spent several years in the newspaper industry in London and Sydney, Australia and then had qualified as a town planner.

At Tower Hamlets she was one of the authors of the 1980 Isle of Dogs plan designed to make sure that when the Corporation was set up it would do what the Council wanted, but, of course, the LDDC ignored it!  Life in planning at that time was all about standing in a queue with other planners and architects until 9 o’clock at night with a brick sample to try to get the Chief Architect's approval, with Reg Ward sweeping through dispensing bonhomie.

After a short spell at Greenwich between 1983 - 1985 Barbara came back to Docklands to work at the Surrey Docks office with Chris Farrow and his team.  The brief was to turn notional budget sums for health, training, education and community grants into real projects in partnership with all the relevant bodies.  This programme brought us Bacon's school and the Docklands Enterprise Centre, for example.  The Corporation then decided to put Stuart Innes and Barbara in charge of developing Tourism, Leisure and Arts policies Docklands-wide in 1987.  This was the time of the great tussle between area teams and the centre, and it was very hard work getting area teams to take any notice of centrally produced policies!  But this was definitely fun, with lots of trips to see what had been done elsewhere, including to New York, Baltimore and Boston to see waterfront development with Jeff Hennessey and Pat McGairy.

When Sunny Crouch arrived on the scene in the late eighties this area of work, and Barbara, moved to Marketing and grew a team and a raft of activities.  This was the era of the art installation in Wapping Pumping Station (the room full of dripping candles) and endlessly wrestling with where shall we put the Museum in Docklands?

Then, great change with the reorganisation in 1991 and she joined Transport Planning.  The highlights have been trying to save the RiverBus with Gareth, developing the Woolwich Rail Tunnel scheme and managing, with difficulty, our relationship with the Docklands Light Railway.  So, although Barbara has been in East London and Docklands since 1977, she has had a very varied career across all aspects of regeneration and is still struggling with the problem of whether to give it all up in 1998 and go and live in the country, or get stuck into another regeneration project.

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And Jeff Hennessey - some personal reflections

I first set foot inside the dock estate in November 1981 on my way to an interview for the post of Area Liaison Planner (Newham).  At the time, I was working for LBN as a planning assistant in development control but my work did not include the docklands area.  The job was a secondment to help establish good relations between the infant Corporation and the Council on planning, projects and community issues.

What I saw on that first day was quite staggering - dereliction and desolation on a huge scale.  A near deserted West India and Millwall Docks.  In the middle of this emptiness was our office at West India House - the Corporation's statement that it had arrived in Docklands.  Despite the dereliction, the docks were captivating and the potential could be seen at once. I started in December and after about ten minutes I was in the grip of Docklands.  The sheer excitement, urgency and rapid change of those early years is hard to convey.

Most of my work has been in the Royal Docks.  The most exciting time was between 1984 when we worked with Richard Rogers and William Gillespie on the Royal Docks Framework and 1990, by which time we had secured the land, the infrastructure, political relationships and planning permissions to make the site into a development proposition.  The benefit of all that work is now being realised in development schemes.  As a town planner, I was proud of the recognition that our work received from the Royal Town Planning Institute's two awards for planning achievement in 1993 for infrastructure-led Urban Regeneration in the Royal Docks.

What next?  Who knows but I think that it is a pity that we do not have five more years to take the Royal Docks further forward.  Opportunities for city making on a site like that come once in a lifetime, perhaps every other and need very special care and attention. I hope that our successors can achieve our vision.

(Jeff is the Corporation’s City Design and Planning Manager)

Completion Update is published from time to time to keep staff in touch with the Corporation’s progressive withdrawal from the UDA and planning for its winding up in 1998.     Contributions are welcome.  The Editor is Stuart Innes (Ext. 3334)

 

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