No lessons to be learned from Carillion collapse, Lincolnshire County Council leader claims

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Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill said that he does not think the council has any lessons to learn following the collapse of Carillion.

Carillion was awarded a £53 million contract by the council in 2016 to deliver work on the Lincoln Eastern Bypass which is due to open next year.

However, the council ended the contract in January 2018 after the outsourcing giant went into liquidation with debts of more than £900 million, having completed just 10% of the project.

The collapse of Carillion saw questions raised locally and nationally about jobs and how much the liquidation would cost taxpayers, with Labour MP for Lincoln Karen Lee suggesting that contracts were brought in-house.

Despite the initial uncertainty, county council leader Martin Hill insisted the bypass would be built by late 2019, and said the way the council had resolved the situation with Carillion had been successful.

He said: “I don’t think there are lessons to be learned and actually we acted very quickly getting someone in place and removing ourselves from the risk of having to deal with receiverships.

“So I think it was a very successful exercise. I’m not sure we have too much to learn actually.

“The contractors are in place now and they are busy marking out the route and getting ready for the large earthworks which will come later this year.

“We have lost a little bit of time with the weather and issues with Carillion but we’re still on target to have the bypass opened late 2019.”

Lincolnshire County Council appointed contractor Galliford Try as a short-term replacement in a package of work until early October 2018 worth roughly £9 million.

In addition, Bam Nuttall agreed to take over ducting works around the perimeter of the proposed Washingborough roundabout.

Two further work packages will be created as part of the bypass, and could overlap with the work Galliford Try is carrying out.

When asked if Galliford Try could be contracted to finish the remaining works, Councillor Hill added: “We have to go through a contractual arrangement. Galliford Try are doing a pretty good job for us both in Lincoln and working on the Grantham relief road.

“We’ll have to put out the rest of the works more formally later in the year and obviously we would hope they would apply and we’ll be able to consider them amongst anyone else who comes along.”