Cumbria Council to pay £5.4m maintenance bill

The High Court has ruled that Cumbria County Council must pay a bill of £5.4 million following a dispute with a former contractor, in which it claims the work carried out was substandard.

The news comes after road maintenance company Amey carried out road repairs for the council until 2012 when the contract ended. However, the company accused the council of not paying it, or underpaying it, for various services.

A High Court judge has ruled the council must pay £5,365,093.34, although Amey had initially claimed £30 million was owed.

In a statement the council admitted holding back a final payment on the grounds of ‘poor workmanship’, but said it would pay using money originally ‘held back to cover any final settlement’.

A Cumbria County Council spokesperson said: “This amount is clearly less than the original £30 million that Amey were asking for, but is still a significant amount of money. This payment is also made on top of the £272 million already paid to Amey throughout the seven year life of the contract.

“The council held money back from Amey’s final payment. The council did this because of what it firmly believed were issues of poor performance and overcharging.

“During the final phase of the contract evidence showed poor performance by Amey and the judgment notes ‘poor workmanship’ on highway patching. This was obviously unacceptable to the council and to the Cumbrian tax payer.

A spokesperson for Amey said: “Amey worked with Cumbria Council for almost a decade and we are proud to have served the county for this time delivering high quality highways services. In 2013, when the contract concluded there were a few items to be closed out. These are now concluded and we welcome the decision of the court.”

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