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The truths they don't want you to read....

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Road gritting

With the Council agendas now being placed on the web in advance of meetings, it is useful to read through them to find matters of interest.

And here is one (and I declare an interest in this matter):

Winter Maintenance 2009/10 – Expenditure Monitoring

2.1 The current position as at 17 May 2010 for winter maintenance expenditure is as follows:-
Budget - £1,394,075
Current Position at 17 May 2010 - £2,471,301
Estimated Expenditure for year - £2,471,301
Overspend for Year 2009/10 - £1,077,226
RECOMMENDATION 3.1 It is recommended that the Comhairle
(a) note the overspend on the Winter Maintenance budget 2009/10 which cannot be covered by funding within the overall Transportation Budget; and
(b) note the concurrent report from the Winter Maintenance Member Officer Working Group which has been considering alternative delivery methods for winter maintenance aimed at providing a more cost effective service.


The concurrent report from the MOWG is not on the agenda, unless it forms part of Item 9, but I understand that the recommendation is that the Council take all the winter maintenance contracts back in-house, as they can be delivered more cheaply by the DSO.

Stop that laughing at the back there.

The winter maintenance contracts have been the subject of furious debate for as many years as I can remember, with allegations of nepotism, favouritism and double-dealing being levied against the council and counter allegations of profiteering and oligopolistic behaviour by the contractors.

All the claims seem to be true to one extent or another, but it looks like it is all going to be academic, as gritting goes the way of the bus contracts i.e. low-balling, anti-competitive behaviour and massive losses for the public to underwrite.


Anonymous said...

Well it's all very well to say 'Stop that laughing at the back there' but.....

Anonymous said...

allegations of nepotism, favouritism and double-dealing being levied against the council The Western Isles Council? Surely not!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it time someone invited Audit Scotland to review all this ? Leaving aside their statutory duties, they have just published (a week ago) a request on their website for suggestions on areas which the citizenry think should be looked into.

Anonymous said...

I always said we needed someone on the council with grit and determination now it seems grit will be enough.

Anonymous said...

its not the gritting that costs the money its paying the road worker extra for being on frost duty most of whom are getting 3x there normal wage a week for telling us its frosty, just look out the window boys

Anonymous said...

Audit Scotland have been informed about the council with specific figures through freedom of information however the auditors feel they are letting them continue to see how they get on with another recovery plan - but basically they are letting them get on with it - they can only advise anyway not actually do anything to stop this - the council found the loop hole so they dont bothere about their statutory obligations - if after the 3 years of not even breaking even they just change the company name hence DSO to COU to now being technical services - they do over & over again year after year!!

Anonymous said...

funny, very very funny - the DSO/COU/Technical services doing something cheaper - that is funny!!

How much money do they need to throw away before they realise how to price properly.

Please oh please someone pass this on - when pricing a job they need to understand realistically what it will cost, it is not what they hope it will cost or what price to write down so they win the tender - be realistic & if it is council workers dont forget all the breaks & 'rest' time.