Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Connection at St Martin\'s: Work in progress

May 23 2009
A reader‘s complaints about CSTM facilities gets a response from the CEO Dear Editor, I've been to the refurbished Connection at St Martin's, and found that the showers are breaking down, as are the glass doors, mould is beginning to build and the sealant is failing. Naturally, the drain covers are now missing, so all manner of plastic is moving into the drainage system. I only hope the pipe diameter is large. The staff acknowledge the toilets aren't fit for purpose because they cannot clear the unusual number of 'bends' in the system (and it is well known that clients send whole rolls of toilet paper into them, as well as the occasional drinks tin). I believe the contractors are still responsible for the building, so maybe it'll all be cleared up soon under contract. One would think an appropriate system should be in place. Will The Pavement not inspect the situation? Marylebone Joe Dear Joe, We passed your letter on to Connection at St Martin's and received the following in reply: It is true that we have a number of problems with our new building. These include the showers, toilets, and some of the heating. Bearing in mind that we were all looking forward to the opportunities created by the redevelopment, these problems are as frustrating for us and as they are for those who use our services. In fact, numbers have almost doubled since we reopened, which places extra strain on all our practical services. We are working as hard as we can to put things right, but the letter writer is correct since we are stuck in a game of 'pass the parcel'. We are, however, still successfully delivering services to the 250 people who are currently coming through our door every 24 hours. We are tenants, not landlords, and the work was commissioned and paid for by St Martin-in-the-Fields, who are experiencing very similar problems as far as the work to their building is concerned. Working out who is responsible for what is proving tiresome and troublesome. We have a combination of architects, project managers, contractors and sub-contractors all variously responsible for different things. Some of these are still on site and others have moved on. The vast majority of the problems are not our immediate responsibility to sort out and, although we keep calling for urgent action, little or nothing has been happening for some time now. We keep complaining, but ultimately have no financial power or sanctions ourselves. We meet regularly with our user groups to explain the problem to them, but I accept that that not everyone who uses our building will be aware of the steps we are taking to put things right, so I am grateful for the opportunity to respond to the letter and thank the author for writing to you. Colin Glover Chief Executive, Connection at St Martin's