Parliament renewal programme leaders quit

Both client-side bodies running the programme to repair the Palace of Westminster are losing their chief executives simultaneously, Construction News has learnt.

David Goldstone, chief executive of the UK Parliament Restoration and Renewal (R&R) Delivery Authority, submitted his resignation at the end of March, although a leaving date has not been set.

Meanwhile, Patsy Richards, managing director/chief executive of the R&R Client Team, has announced that she will retire in the summer.

A statement from the delivery authority said: “After a long and enormously interesting full-time career, including four years at the delivery authority, David wishes to step back from full-time executive roles.

“Mike Brown, chair of the delivery authority board, will lead the board as they consider next steps for appointing a successor.”

In a post on LinkedIn, Richards said: “With the strategic case for R&R now published by parliament, I am retiring from executive roles this summer so we have a space to fill.”

News of the double departure comes a month after the R&R Client Board endorsed a new strategic case for future works on the Palace of Westminster.

This case covers health and safety, mechanical & electrical, building fabric, air ventilation & heating and cooling, security protection and accessibility works. It is set to be considered by MPs and lords next year.

It is understood that parliamentary authorities believe that publication of the strategic cases provides a good opportunity for leadership transition.

Richards took charge in her current role in 2022, leading the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body as its functions were transferred to the clerks of both houses of parliament.

Her body is responsible for directing, assuring and overseeing the delivery authority’s work.

The job advert for Richards’ successor is being advertised at a pay range of £94,340 to £138,600.

The parliamentary renewal programme has faced years of repeated delays and indecision. In 2022 the Public Accounts Committee warned that uncertainty over the project had caused more than £200m of unnecessary spending.

In February, trade unions said the crumbling state of the seat of government was increasing the risk of a “catastrophic and potentially life-threatening incident”.

Last week, CN revealed that work to repair parliament’s tallest structure, the Victoria Tower, faces a year’s delay due to a botched procurement process.

The Victoria Tower job sits outside the main restoration and renewal programme.

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