'Disasters' blamed for delays to opening Oxford Town Hall's cafe

thisisoxfordshire: Peter Sloman Peter Sloman

COUNCIL chiefs have admitted a “catalogue of disasters” has delayed the reopening of Oxford Town Hall’s cafe by six months.

The cafe was due to reopen in April after refurbishments, but will remain closed until October.

Speaking at a meeting of the council’s executive board, chief executive Peter Sloman admitted the delay was caused by contractual disputes between the council and contractors.

He said: “The cafe has been a catalogue of disasters.

“There have been three organisations involved with this, and there have been a number of contractual disputes between them.”

The delay has been criticised by opposition Lib Dem councillors.

Group leader Jean Fooks said: “It sounds tremendously incompetent, and it still hasn’t re-opened.”

Speaking after the meeting, city council leader Bob Price said the delay would not detract from the large-scale refurbishment of the museum and cafe.

He said: “It’s all part of the general refubishment which has focused on the museum. We are seeking to improve the museum offer and have a better cafe.

“As Peter said, for various reasons, work hasn’t been completed in the time it was supposed to be.

“It’s disappointing, but it’s just one of those things which can happen, and hopefully we will be able to recover from it soon.

City council spokesman Louisa Dean said: “We are looking forward to the cafe opening at the end of October and providing the community with a unique experience of the Town Hall by enjoying the Explore Oxford galleries, taking a tour of the building and then having refreshments in the café.

“It has been delayed for six months and the cafe income would have been approximately £6,000.

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“We hope that the new facility will provide a different place for people to visit with locally sourced products and 100 per cent homemade dishes.”

The Museum of Oxford galleries opened to the public in June after more than £100,000 was spent converting former offices.

Funding included £43,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £48,628 from Wren, the organisation which distributes landfill tax credits to good causes.

Comments (4)

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9:23am Mon 17 Sep 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Name and shame the other two organisations!

£6000 "Income" (I hope he means Net Income) is a little on the low side. I suspect they could have achieved 5x that value simply leasing the space to one of the major brands.
Name and shame the other two organisations! £6000 "Income" (I hope he means Net Income) is a little on the low side. I suspect they could have achieved 5x that value simply leasing the space to one of the major brands. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: 3

10:18am Mon 17 Sep 12

Myron Blatz says...

City Council having more 'labour disputes' - like what we used to get whenever Labour was in government! Problem here sounds more like 'Scrooge Sloman' trying to squeeze even more out of the contractors after signing up for the work, and probably City Council wanting changes made or additional work done outside the original and agreed contract. There's no such thing as a 'free breakfast' Mr Sloman - and with the delay in opening the Cafe, nor can tourists even buy one! At least tourists can still spend their money in plenty of other cafes and coffee shops elsewhere in the centre of Oxford, run by proper business folk who actually know what they are doing.
City Council having more 'labour disputes' - like what we used to get whenever Labour was in government! Problem here sounds more like 'Scrooge Sloman' trying to squeeze even more out of the contractors after signing up for the work, and probably City Council wanting changes made or additional work done outside the original and agreed contract. There's no such thing as a 'free breakfast' Mr Sloman - and with the delay in opening the Cafe, nor can tourists even buy one! At least tourists can still spend their money in plenty of other cafes and coffee shops elsewhere in the centre of Oxford, run by proper business folk who actually know what they are doing. Myron Blatz
  • Score: -4

1:53pm Mon 17 Sep 12

father dowling says...

Peter Sloman the answer is rather simple, as it is for Bob Price : Please will you both do the decent thing and resign. PLEASE. Its painfully clear that neither of you can do your jobs and it would be the morally correct thing to do, stand aside, resign, retire from public life for good and let people who are more enthusiastic about their jobs and the people of Oxford take over. PLEASE.
Peter Sloman the answer is rather simple, as it is for Bob Price : Please will you both do the decent thing and resign. PLEASE. Its painfully clear that neither of you can do your jobs and it would be the morally correct thing to do, stand aside, resign, retire from public life for good and let people who are more enthusiastic about their jobs and the people of Oxford take over. PLEASE. father dowling
  • Score: -10

4:37pm Mon 17 Sep 12

ger elttil OX2 0EJ says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Name and shame the other two organisations!

£6000 "Income" (I hope he means Net Income) is a little on the low side. I suspect they could have achieved 5x that value simply leasing the space to one of the major brands.
I am sure that Costa would have loved to be there, they would have paid up and it would have been up and running in a week. But obviously the right on lefties backed by The Greenies want some kind of carbon neutral whole foods operator, hence the delay and loss of income.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: Name and shame the other two organisations! £6000 "Income" (I hope he means Net Income) is a little on the low side. I suspect they could have achieved 5x that value simply leasing the space to one of the major brands.[/p][/quote]I am sure that Costa would have loved to be there, they would have paid up and it would have been up and running in a week. But obviously the right on lefties backed by The Greenies want some kind of carbon neutral whole foods operator, hence the delay and loss of income. ger elttil OX2 0EJ
  • Score: -57

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