Herefordshire Council is taking appropriate steps towards resolving the long standing disputes with its former contractor Amey, by taking the decision to authorise legal action to protect the council.
The council had a long term contract with Amey from 2003 until 2013, covering a range of ‘street scene’ activities such as highways, parks and public rights of way maintenance and engineering / architectural consultancy services. However, since the contract ended, there are still over 30 separate areas of dispute which remain unresolved, even after extensive negotiations.
These negotiations were halted by Amey in January 2015, when it referred four matters to adjudication, the financial result of which was substantially in the council’s favour. Amey has since issued High Court proceedings seeking to quash one of the four decisions. The council needs to respond to the proceedings to protect its interests and may need to commence action in the High Court to enforce payment of the adjudicator’s award in its favour.
Councillor Harry Bramer, Cabinet member for contracts and assets, said: “We have decided to take these appropriate steps as Amey has failed to pay the amount due following the recent adjudications. We have received advice from legal and technical experts, who strongly support the council’s stance, however we have agreed to refer the dispute to mediation before either party takes any further legal action.
“The council has a responsibility to resolve these matters in a manner which justifies the use of public money and will do everything it can to achieve a fair outcome and protect the best interests of both the council and local residents.
“In the event that the mediation fails, the council is prepared to respond quickly and effectively to resolve this matter.”
To find out more about the council’s dispute with Amey, please read the questions and answers.