Agenda item

Update on design proposals, proposed procurement route and programme options:

·         New heating installations in ground floor public areas;

·         Access control and ground floor stairway barrier


(verbal update by Richard Hodgson/Dorian Avellino)


Officers advised that following agreement at Cabinet on the proposed ground floor atrium heating and door access solutions further and more detailed design work had been carried out. Three quotes had been obtained, so officers were developing a procurement strategy in the knowledge of these quotations and would update the Sub- Committee at its next meeting on progress. The Sub Committee confirmed that they were content that the door access system and staircase control could be dealt with utilising urgency powers to bring forward the install date and hence the date for these to be in and operating. 


It was stated that the replacement of existing door curtains which were now at the end of their life cycle, would be more efficient as existing installations and therefore presented an opportunity for reduced operating cost in the longer term. The new positioning and flexibility of the new door curtains and wall mounted heaters in the atrium/ reception areas would also provide a better environment for customers and staff in these areas and therefore helping maximise the use and utilisation of these open areas. These works would be procured in the usual way of tender and not adopting urgency notwithstanding officers had undertaken some soft market testing.


Door Access Control:


Officers stated that areas of the building would be zoned and doors restricted by card access. The proposals included Members areas and Committee suites including the Chamber as well as office areas.


Members enquired whether there would be a mixture of access solutions/systems. Officers stated that there would be one access control system, with either a card reader or a simple push button mechanism to enable movement around the building depending on whether you were moving from a public space into a secure area ( car reader) or secure area out into a more public/circulation  area  (predominantly push button)


The new system was going to be a ‘PAXTON II’ System which had a standard allowance for up to 1,000 users. SHDC would manage the database of users, with CPBS being responsible for the software. In addition SHDC would be responsible for printing of the cards which would allow access.


It was noted that the system would also be used to control the access barrier to main car park, main vestibule doors, the lift and printers/photocopiers.


Members stated that they felt that those responsible for security should have the main input in determining what security systems were introduced. Officers confirmed that a small including Assets and Facilities Management colleagues were working closely on this project.


Members mentioned that at the time of the meeting there was a range of different types of ID cards issued and asked how this would work with the new system. Officers responded that it was planned that all Members and staff would be issued with new cards to replace existing cards so that everyone (Members, partners in occupation and Officers) are issued with a card. This would cover all staff working at Priory Road, including for CPBS, DWP and CAB as well as those other SHDC staff who require access to Priory Road. It was noted the system was capable of being expanded to cover other buildings than just Priory Road if this were needed.


Members asked how visitor cards would work. It was stated that there was no need for visitors cards as all visitors would be required to be escorted by officers who had invited them starting by meeting and greeting visitors at reception. The operating arrangements for contractor’s working at Priory Road, such as was under review including the need for a limited number of contractor access cards.


Members asked how ‘tailgating’ through doors would be prevented. Officers responded that there was an expectation that staff would challenge all in the building who were not wearing an ID badge and this would be reinforced by frequent communications as necessary.


Sub Committee agreed that the two side access doors to the Council would also become staff entrances solely, with public access now being directed to solely the main entrance to the building, allowing a more controlled approach to how public entered into the building. Officers would work with the Sub Committee members to ensure the timing for this being implemented and communications are fully understood and agreed. Officers asked Members on the Sub-Committee for their support in encouraging all Members to wear their ID cards and also to be expected to be challenged if they didn’t. This was agreed.


It was noted that for public meetings, the public would have to be let in and out via the front door and escorted to the chamber as required. This was similarly agreed by the Sub Committee as a good workable solution.


Officers restated that there would not be card readers on the inside of all doors as this would add unnecessary additional cost to the project and the push button release mechanism was typical and sufficient.


Members stated that all staff access and egress at Priory Road should be through the three main entrances off the atrium. This was agreed and would be reinforced through communications with staff and Priory Road tenants except of course in the event of evacuation.


The Facilities Management Officer left the room at 15:05


Members also asked that in communications with staff around the introduction of the uprated access system, the opportunity to reinforce the benefits of promoting a clear desk policy be taken.


Atrium Stair barriers:


The Technical Project Manager - Breckland stated that the same contractor fitting the new door systems is likely to fit the atrium stair barriers too although this had yet to be determined.


The Technical Project Manager - Breckland provided examples of glass gate solutions and glazed/steel handrails around. Whilst powder coated solutions would provide similar functionality Members stated that they felt it would be worth the small additional cost to get the stainless steel model to match the existing staircase handrails, as per the Officers recommendation. This was agreed.




The Sub Committee noted the programme outlined to them by Officers and based on a waiver of Contract Standing Orders the programme for works to be undertaken and completed including contractor lead in times for equipment.


Members stated that they wanted the staircase works done where possible first. Officers noted and would liaise with the appointed contractor pre and post contract award on programme and sequencing.




a)    That the current proposals for door control systems be agreed as satisfactory


b)    That the Technical Project Manager - Breckland be given authority to find and cost a barrier for the Atrium staircase.