Hertfordshire County Council's roads contractor fined £1million
PUBLISHED: 11:28 17 November 2016 | UPDATED: 11:28 17 November 2016
The county council's road contractor has been fined more than £1million over the last four years, it has emerged.
Ringway, which is responsible for highways in Welwyn Hatfield, was forced to pay £1,074,052 between October 2012 and April 2016, mainly for failing to carry out required work.
It has also been fined £43,000 this year, but the total amount will not be confirmed until next April.
During the four-year period, the company received £158million through council tax.
The findings emerged following an investigation by Lib Dem leader, councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who said he was “staggered” at the fines.
He said: “Whilst in per cent terms the £1million in fines or deductions is not large, a million pounds is a lot of hard cash.
“This relates to only the strict penalties contained in the original contract, mainly not dealing with emergency repairs in time and not getting the right road closure permits.
“It does not cover all substandard works.”
Ringway was last year deducted £275,116, the year before it was £250,225, and in 2013/14 the company was charged £421,321.
Terry Douris, cabinet member for highways, said: “We are committed to working with our partners at Ringway to keep the county’s highways in the best condition and deliver excellent value for money for Hertfordshire residents.
“The contract we have with Ringway requires them to meet certain performance targets around response times and quality of work. Where our contractors fall short of our high expectations we make sure they are held to account and cash deductions are made from their annual fee.
“This means in practice that Ringway have a strong incentive to meet the high standards we require and that we monitor their performance carefully to protect the public purse.
“I am encouraged to see fewer deductions which represent an improvement in the service.”
Email your thoughts to email@example.com