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Major work needed at Bradford attraction just a year after work completed
Faulty valves used to control the fountains in the multi-million pound City Park are to be replaced just one year after work was completed at the site.
In a move branded as “surprising” by one politician, all 53 valves used to control the 100 fountains and 30m central fountain at the multi-award winning park are to be replaced after the contractor who installed them was unhappy with their performance.
Contractor The Fountain Workshop Limited has ordered the new valves from its French supplier Asco Numatics, who will replace them free of charge, saving an estimated £21,200.
The valves will be replaced while the fountains are switched off for three days later this month.
Bradford Council leader Councillor David Green said: “Basically what we are doing is making sure that everything is 100 per cent before we get the formal hand-over and it is all our responsibility.
“There’s been a problem with, as I understand, a couple of the valves. It’s been agreed we will get them all 100 per cent sorted before the contractor’s liability period runs out.
“Before they leave it we have got to be satisfied that the job is a good one.”
The Council told the Telegraph & Argus it was not yet able to provide the overall figure for how much the City Park has cost.
Ian Kirkpatrick, managing director of The Fountain Workshop Limited, said he spoke with Asco after he was left unhappy with the performance of the valves, which he said cost about £400 each.
He said: “They have agreed to replace the valves free of charge with some new valves which will correct this issue.
“It was the valves that weren’t responsive and a number were sticking, they were either staying open or staying closed.”
Shelagh O’Neill, the Council’s economic development programmes manager, said the fountains are to be switched off for three days on November 26, 27 and 28, while the holding tank is cleaned by Council staff and the water is replaced as part of a routine maintenance programme.
She said: “During this period The Fountain Workshop Limited plan to take the opportunity to carry out general maintenance to the control systems, which will involve the installation of new valves to give more efficient control of the fountains.
“This is being done by the company at no cost to the Council and is part of their continued commitment to City Park and service improvement.”
She said the fountains would be switched on again on November 29, but members of the public have been reminded the fountains are automatically controlled by an on-site weather station that turns them off as temperatures get near to freezing.
She said: “Through the winter nights, Bradford Council will programme the mirror pool to part drain from 8pm so that visitors can enjoy the lasers that will interact with people as they walk across the middle of the pools.”
Councillor Rebecca Poulsen, the council’s Conservative group regeneration spokesman, said: “I’m quite surprised because it’s something that’s new. It hasn’t been in for years and years and I would be asking what is the cost of it?
“I would have thought that would have lasted longer than that. If this is going to be a regular thing every year, I would be interested to see what the maintenance plan is for it, whether this sort of part is routinely replaced annually, or whether this is something that doesn’t normally happen.”
Councillor Jeanette Sunderland, the council’s Liberal Democrat group leader, said: “I’m glad they are maintaining it properly, which puts paid to the stuff from the cynics about it being badly maintained and full of rubbish, which has turned out not to be so.
“I’m glad they are carrying out regular maintenance and that they have found any problems within the snagging period.
“I don’t find it a concern, I’m glad they are doing it and presumably that the council will insist that the quality of the valves are sufficient not to need repairing within 12 months.”
Councillor Andrew Mallinson, chairman of the Council’s regeneration and economy overview and scrutinty committee, said the committee would be discussing the overall cost of the park once the figure had been determined.