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BBLP Contract Review

Edna Welthorpe (Mrs)

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Noticed that two men were cutting back low hanging branches near me. It turns out that these two men are contracted to respond to all tree matters in Herefordshire. So they could be dealing with a tree matter in Hay on Wye and then have to travel across to Ledbury for another. The problem is that those above have no idea how resources and planning need to be deployed to create an environment fit to live in - just look at the state of our estates, roads and cycleways. If you walk around you may notice these things instead of sitting on their sofas at home and hitting their computer keys - that's not working. If something needs doing you are better off doing it yourself. Start at the bottom and work your way up to resolve matters

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It's a very damning report on both the Council's management of the contract and of BBLP's performance. It's astonishing that, for instance, "Stakeholders within the Council confirm that projects related to building maintenance below £250,000 are commissioned to Balfour Beatty without an open tender" despite this being a requirement of the Contract. It seems to be an open secret within the Council (and it's flipping obvious to the man in the potholed street) that the Contract is being widely abused. Is it worth asking what the 'Director of Economy and Place' is doing for his £125k salary?

I watched the Council Cabinet debate this report - only Cllr Liz Harvey was willing to get stuck in, few if any other councillors had much to say. The recommendations in the report were accepted - it's going to take a very strong team to sort it out and I'm not holding my breath. 

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