Growing Pains 1
TREE’S A CROWD
Birmingham City Council is currently embroiled in an expensive legal battle after the contract for cutting trees in the city ended up in the High Court. It’s the second cock-up in a matter of weeks involving maintenance contracts.
The successful bidder (a national company called Fountains) was disqualified after it emerged they had allowed their membership of a trade association to lapse – even though this was a contractual requirement.
That prompted one of the losing bidders Central Trees to launch a legal action – which is ongoing. Council bosses are hoping it can be sorted out in the next few weeks before the new contract is due to start.
Meanwhile experts are trying to work out where the bigger error lies – in allowing Fountains to bid when they didn’t meet all the contractual obligations? Or imposing the trade association stipulation in the first place?
Probably the latter since this is not legally necessary – and Fountains are widely acknowledged as the best firm for the job.
See also Grounds for concern
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