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)
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
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Issue Eleven - 17th June 1997
D minus 287 and counting!
Ministers Confirm Wind Up Programme
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 Highways
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
Contact: Gareth Bendon (Extn.
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 GOL
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).
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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Since the last issue we have said goodbye to:
Jeremy Diment, Deepti Arora, Milan Curcic and Shaun
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.
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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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)
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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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
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?
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
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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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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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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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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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
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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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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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
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
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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.
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