‘Shock’ over contractor’s private use

A CONTRACTOR awarded a five-year £30m-a-year highways contract by West Sussex County Council has been ordered to stop using council depots for another contract.

It has also been instructed to improve its performance over repairing highway safety defects within timescales.

Cllr James Walsh asked council leader Cllr Louise Goldsmith if she was as shocked as he was to hear at a policy and resources committee meeting that contractor Balfour Beatty was in breach of contract.

A committee report said 90 per cent of highway safety defects were repaired within county council timescales during August. However, the target was 96 per cent.

A contract default notice was issued to force Balfour Beatty to recover minimum performance levels.

It was also required to produce an improvement plan.

Cllr Walsh asked if Cllr Goldsmith could confirm the use of depots for another contract had ceased following action against the contractor.

Cllr Goldsmith said she could. She added: “I know we have taken a very robust approach to Balfour Beatty, and we will continue to make no bones about it.”