Bristol City Council hotel bill for evacuated Barton House residents rises to £5.3million

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A top Council officer has approved additional spending to extend the contract with Holiday Inn

The cost of the Barton House evacuation has risen to £5.3million, it has been revealed.

A top Bristol City Council officer has approved additional spending to extend the contract with Holiday Inn, the city centre hotel where most Barton House residents have been staying since they were told to leave their homes on November 14.

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The authority declared a major incident after surveys suggested the building could collapse if there was a fire or explosion.

Further investigations have eased concerns that the 14-storey block in Barton Hill was not built to its original design, and the council has told tenants and leaseholders that they could move back in from February 23 after the property is made safe and new fire alarms are installed.

Holiday Inn was block-booked until the end of January, with the council paying for accommodation, meals, car parking, laundry, security and any damage to the hotel in Bond Street.

That contract has now been extended and funding for the required work to Barton House approved, following an urgent officer decision by the executive director of growth & regeneration to spend an extra £2.6million on top of the £2.7million previously agreed by the chief executive in November.

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The decision notice, published on the authority’s website on Friday, January 12, said: “Further survey information has now been received which supports a programme of works which will enable residents to return safely to Barton House.

“The programme of works is scheduled to complete by February 23. The existing contract with the Holiday Inn runs until the end of January and therefore needs to be extended.

“Contractually this needs to be carried out before the next Cabinet meeting and so an Urgent Key Officer Executive Decision is needed.

“This decision will enable the Council to continue to support residents in alternative temporary accommodation until the works above have been completed and the block is safe for residents to return.”

It said there was no provision in the authority’s budget for the spending and that it would have to be found by reprioritising its housing projects.

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