By Tristan Harris Friday 25 October 2013 Updated: 27/10 20:30
THE LEADER of Bromsgrove District Council has hit out at companies which he says are deliberately hiking up prices when the authority comes calling for work.
Coun Roger Hollingworth was speaking after the lowest quote to build new toilets at Bromsgrove Cemetery was £37,000, despite members having put aside £25,000 for the project, which they felt would be an ample amount.
That has now meant the project has had to be shelved and the cash spent on refurbishing the next nearest toilets in Sanders Park.
And Coun Hollingworth said that was not a one-off as previously tendered building work had also been met by what he considered over-inflated quotes.
“Why should we, as a council, pay more for jobs which would be a lot cheaper if they were being done for companies or individuals?
“This is public money and it is not right. We also always pay firms within 11 days to ensure they don’t have any cash flow problems.”
That is a legal requirement determined by the Government for local authorities.
Coun Mike Webb, Bromsgrove District Council’s cabinet member for environmental services, echoed Coun Hollingworth’s calls.
He said: “This needs to be brought to the public’s attention.
“We had the plans for the cemetery toilets drawn up by a reputable architect and they told us how much they envisaged it would cost to build.”
He said, to him, the job was no bigger than putting a utility building on the side of a house.
“Then we received quotes of 30, 40, 50 and even 60,000 pounds. I have always been suprised by the costs that we are given for work.”
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