Southampton's Civic Centre 'leaking like a sieve' after £15m of work

Southampton Civic Centre

Southampton Civic Centre

First published in News
Last updated
Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Political reporter

IT MAY have undergone a recent £15 million refurbishment, but that has not stopped Southampton’s Civic Centre springing a leaks in the bad weather.

Water has poured into the building through a number of leaks, although the city council says they are minor and do not affect the authority’s services.

But opposition councillors say the building is “leaking like a sieve” and the problem should not be happening after such a comprehensive refurbishment which included structural improvements.

The damage at the Civic Centre can be revealed just 24 hours after the Daily Echo told how residents in Southampton tower blocks are also suffering leaks. Water has started pouring into new windows put into 500 homes in a £9 million revamp of council homes and now council chiefs have launched a major review.

Residents say they have had enough and the city council has handed out plastic sheeting to those who have rain water coming into their homes.

As the country suffers from its worst storms for 20 years even part of the Civic Centre clock’s copper roof was blown off during violent wind and rain.

Southampton City Council commissioned construction firm Wates Construction to carry out the work in 2009, and it was completed earlier this year.

The building was largely built in the 1920s after proposals were put forward by mayor Sir Sidney Kimber, and the last major upgrade took place in the 1930s.

But despite the work in the past three years, leaks have been reported throughout the building following the storm on Christmas Eve and buckets have appeared around the building to collect water.

Most of the problems have been reported to occur in window frames around the building.

A spokesman said: “The Civic Centre has suffered from other minor leaks caused by the high winds and heavy rain but none are significant, nor affect the service provided by the council.

“A full assessment is being undertaken, however this may take a while due to the forecasted heavy rains and wind expected over the next few weeks.”

City council leader Simon Letts said: “My first instinct is that the leaks have come through window frames which we would not have been able to change in the refurbishment, as it is a Grade II listed building and we needed to use sympathetic materials.

“But if there is a fault that is down to the construction firm, I will take it up with them.

“In the meantime an assessment is still being done of the damage.”

Councillor Against the Cuts Don Thomas said: “Sidney Kimber will be turning in his grave.

“A lot of the £15million was spent on structural repairs which should have prevented rain coming in, no matter how hard it rained.

“Weather condition is a feeble excuse – one would expect - after £15m - better than a building that still leaks like a sieve.”

Comments (21)

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5:39am Tue 7 Jan 14

skeptik says...

Not a building that is easy on the eye, needs mending with a new one. Prince Charlie would include it in the carbuncle class.
Not a building that is easy on the eye, needs mending with a new one. Prince Charlie would include it in the carbuncle class. skeptik
  • Score: -16

6:53am Tue 7 Jan 14

10 Minute Man says...

skeptik wrote:
Not a building that is easy on the eye, needs mending with a new one. Prince Charlie would include it in the carbuncle class.
But can you imagine the bland-yet-ugly, overpriced pile of glass and brick it would get replaced with ? And I expect its listed. The clock tower might need to be moved elsewhere.

I'd support its demolition and rebuild on the basis of efficiency of power and heating usage. Almost every public building I go into is absolutely boiling hot, and yet is old and or drafty.
[quote][p][bold]skeptik[/bold] wrote: Not a building that is easy on the eye, needs mending with a new one. Prince Charlie would include it in the carbuncle class.[/p][/quote]But can you imagine the bland-yet-ugly, overpriced pile of glass and brick it would get replaced with ? And I expect its listed. The clock tower might need to be moved elsewhere. I'd support its demolition and rebuild on the basis of efficiency of power and heating usage. Almost every public building I go into is absolutely boiling hot, and yet is old and or drafty. 10 Minute Man
  • Score: -4

6:59am Tue 7 Jan 14

thesouth says...

The way the photos taken looks like the clock towers about to fall down, maybe they are drumming up tourism with the leaning clock tower of soton
The way the photos taken looks like the clock towers about to fall down, maybe they are drumming up tourism with the leaning clock tower of soton thesouth
  • Score: 0

8:17am Tue 7 Jan 14

Maine Lobster says...

Opposition councillors criticise the refurbishment commissioned by them in 2009! Polictical opportunism at its finest!
Opposition councillors criticise the refurbishment commissioned by them in 2009! Polictical opportunism at its finest! Maine Lobster
  • Score: 15

8:18am Tue 7 Jan 14

WILLIAM HAGUES TWIN BROTHER. says...

With the Weston fiasco and now this , what the dickens is going on ?
With the Weston fiasco and now this , what the dickens is going on ? WILLIAM HAGUES TWIN BROTHER.
  • Score: -5

8:29am Tue 7 Jan 14

loosehead says...

Maine Lobster wrote:
Opposition councillors criticise the refurbishment commissioned by them in 2009! Polictical opportunism at its finest!
did you not read the name of the opposition councillor? was it not Don Thomas? wasn't he once a Labour councillor?
[quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: Opposition councillors criticise the refurbishment commissioned by them in 2009! Polictical opportunism at its finest![/p][/quote]did you not read the name of the opposition councillor? was it not Don Thomas? wasn't he once a Labour councillor? loosehead
  • Score: 4

8:33am Tue 7 Jan 14

elvisimo says...

springing a leaks ?
springing a leaks ? elvisimo
  • Score: -2

9:12am Tue 7 Jan 14

spotburst says...

Obviously we need a £300K consultancy to evaluate what to do next.
Obviously we need a £300K consultancy to evaluate what to do next. spotburst
  • Score: 13

9:15am Tue 7 Jan 14

Dave Juson says...

Sir Sidney Kimber, now there’s a name to conjure with. Given what he contributed to Southampton, and his vision, it would be interesting to know more about him.
Perhaps the Echo could do a feature on him?
It's all there in the archives at Newspaper House. Hint to editorial staff: that's the offices off to the left of the reception area.
Sir Sidney Kimber, now there’s a name to conjure with. Given what he contributed to Southampton, and his vision, it would be interesting to know more about him. Perhaps the Echo could do a feature on him? It's all there in the archives at Newspaper House. Hint to editorial staff: that's the offices off to the left of the reception area. Dave Juson
  • Score: 9

9:23am Tue 7 Jan 14

Linesman says...

Maine Lobster wrote:
Opposition councillors criticise the refurbishment commissioned by them in 2009! Polictical opportunism at its finest!
Which party was in charge at the time the refurbishment was commissioned?

Who was the Leader of the Council at the time?
[quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: Opposition councillors criticise the refurbishment commissioned by them in 2009! Polictical opportunism at its finest![/p][/quote]Which party was in charge at the time the refurbishment was commissioned? Who was the Leader of the Council at the time? Linesman
  • Score: -1

9:55am Tue 7 Jan 14

Maine Lobster says...

loosehead wrote:
Maine Lobster wrote: Opposition councillors criticise the refurbishment commissioned by them in 2009! Polictical opportunism at its finest!
did you not read the name of the opposition councillor? was it not Don Thomas? wasn't he once a Labour councillor?
Hardly the opposition with only two councillors. You can't get away from the fact that the Conservatives were in charge when this work was commissioned. Fact!
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: Opposition councillors criticise the refurbishment commissioned by them in 2009! Polictical opportunism at its finest![/p][/quote]did you not read the name of the opposition councillor? was it not Don Thomas? wasn't he once a Labour councillor?[/p][/quote]Hardly the opposition with only two councillors. You can't get away from the fact that the Conservatives were in charge when this work was commissioned. Fact! Maine Lobster
  • Score: -3

10:47am Tue 7 Jan 14

befriendly says...

Who commissioned the work is irrelevant, who checked it during construction and then signed it off as being satisfactory and fit for purpose is more to the point.
Who commissioned the work is irrelevant, who checked it during construction and then signed it off as being satisfactory and fit for purpose is more to the point. befriendly
  • Score: 8

11:34am Tue 7 Jan 14

phil maccavity says...

Our Offices are relatively new and built by a reputable company but have suffered quite a bit of water ingress in the recent weather
Also speaking to someone at B & Q recently.Quite a few of their stores have roof leaks despite spending millions on upgrades.
Unfortunately a combination of heavy rain/high winds will have consequences whether properties are council, commercial or residential
Our Offices are relatively new and built by a reputable company but have suffered quite a bit of water ingress in the recent weather Also speaking to someone at B & Q recently.Quite a few of their stores have roof leaks despite spending millions on upgrades. Unfortunately a combination of heavy rain/high winds will have consequences whether properties are council, commercial or residential phil maccavity
  • Score: 7

11:42am Tue 7 Jan 14

saintinpattaya says...

Back handers paid to award contracts to companies that can manipulate price's and deliver substandard work. It goes on in every corrupt country so surely must be going on in Southampton. Bent councillors. ....never!!!
Back handers paid to award contracts to companies that can manipulate price's and deliver substandard work. It goes on in every corrupt country so surely must be going on in Southampton. Bent councillors. ....never!!! saintinpattaya
  • Score: -6

1:15pm Tue 7 Jan 14

southy says...

loosehead wrote:
Maine Lobster wrote:
Opposition councillors criticise the refurbishment commissioned by them in 2009! Polictical opportunism at its finest!
did you not read the name of the opposition councillor? was it not Don Thomas? wasn't he once a Labour councillor?
Work was ordered under the Tory council, work had all ready been started before Labour took control of the Council
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Maine Lobster[/bold] wrote: Opposition councillors criticise the refurbishment commissioned by them in 2009! Polictical opportunism at its finest![/p][/quote]did you not read the name of the opposition councillor? was it not Don Thomas? wasn't he once a Labour councillor?[/p][/quote]Work was ordered under the Tory council, work had all ready been started before Labour took control of the Council southy
  • Score: 1

1:21pm Tue 7 Jan 14

southy says...

phil maccavity wrote:
Our Offices are relatively new and built by a reputable company but have suffered quite a bit of water ingress in the recent weather
Also speaking to someone at B & Q recently.Quite a few of their stores have roof leaks despite spending millions on upgrades.
Unfortunately a combination of heavy rain/high winds will have consequences whether properties are council, commercial or residential
Well Phil its a Capitalist system so you pay for Capitalist type work, not designed to last long its a throw away society
[quote][p][bold]phil maccavity[/bold] wrote: Our Offices are relatively new and built by a reputable company but have suffered quite a bit of water ingress in the recent weather Also speaking to someone at B & Q recently.Quite a few of their stores have roof leaks despite spending millions on upgrades. Unfortunately a combination of heavy rain/high winds will have consequences whether properties are council, commercial or residential[/p][/quote]Well Phil its a Capitalist system so you pay for Capitalist type work, not designed to last long its a throw away society southy
  • Score: -1

1:31pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Pinguboy says...

I visited a friend in Redbridge Towers the day before christmas eve, they had rain water pouring through a crack their living room. This only got worse when two large gusts of wind opened the crack that now extended from one end of the lounge to the other.

We then witnessed a crack open up before our eyes in the kitchen with rain water dripping through the cracks.

Shame you can't upload picture and video's to this site!!!

Bit worrying when they have 6 flats above them!!!
I visited a friend in Redbridge Towers the day before christmas eve, they had rain water pouring through a crack their living room. This only got worse when two large gusts of wind opened the crack that now extended from one end of the lounge to the other. We then witnessed a crack open up before our eyes in the kitchen with rain water dripping through the cracks. Shame you can't upload picture and video's to this site!!! Bit worrying when they have 6 flats above them!!! Pinguboy
  • Score: 2

2:12pm Tue 7 Jan 14

southy says...

The new school that was ordered and pass under the Tory council is leaking badly, but then this new building was built on a soak away ground and all ways had problems since finshed
The new school that was ordered and pass under the Tory council is leaking badly, but then this new building was built on a soak away ground and all ways had problems since finshed southy
  • Score: -1

6:32pm Tue 7 Jan 14

phil maccavity says...

southy wrote:
phil maccavity wrote:
Our Offices are relatively new and built by a reputable company but have suffered quite a bit of water ingress in the recent weather
Also speaking to someone at B & Q recently.Quite a few of their stores have roof leaks despite spending millions on upgrades.
Unfortunately a combination of heavy rain/high winds will have consequences whether properties are council, commercial or residential
Well Phil its a Capitalist system so you pay for Capitalist type work, not designed to last long its a throw away society
Southy
So you could guarantee that there would be no roof leaks in a Communist, Socialist Worker or TUSC led world?
Interesting that the Victorian and Edwardian period was driven by rampant capitalism and class division yet their construction projects seem to have stood the test of time or was this a 'different' type of capitalism?
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]phil maccavity[/bold] wrote: Our Offices are relatively new and built by a reputable company but have suffered quite a bit of water ingress in the recent weather Also speaking to someone at B & Q recently.Quite a few of their stores have roof leaks despite spending millions on upgrades. Unfortunately a combination of heavy rain/high winds will have consequences whether properties are council, commercial or residential[/p][/quote]Well Phil its a Capitalist system so you pay for Capitalist type work, not designed to last long its a throw away society[/p][/quote]Southy So you could guarantee that there would be no roof leaks in a Communist, Socialist Worker or TUSC led world? Interesting that the Victorian and Edwardian period was driven by rampant capitalism and class division yet their construction projects seem to have stood the test of time or was this a 'different' type of capitalism? phil maccavity
  • Score: 2

10:19am Wed 8 Jan 14

skeptik says...

Love the socialist versus tory rain arguments and these folk vote! Holy moly.
Love the socialist versus tory rain arguments and these folk vote! Holy moly. skeptik
  • Score: 0

11:49am Wed 8 Jan 14

skeptik says...

Victorian capitalism - different? In many cases indeed it was totally different to the total greed ethic of some businesses now. Many public health, education and the general well being of the workforce was funded directly by profit. Now we have boasts of how much one person is worth. Uncontrolled capitalism is as bad as the socialist directorates we have seen fail both theories fail eventually as the cycle turns.
Victorian capitalism - different? In many cases indeed it was totally different to the total greed ethic of some businesses now. Many public health, education and the general well being of the workforce was funded directly by profit. Now we have boasts of how much one person is worth. Uncontrolled capitalism is as bad as the socialist directorates we have seen fail both theories fail eventually as the cycle turns. skeptik
  • Score: -1

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