1. ITV Report

Cumbria Council “determined to learn and improve” following legal dispute

Amey delivered a contract for roads maintenance worth over £272million Photo: Google maps

Cumbria County Council is set to improve how it manages major contracts.

This comes after a 'thorough' review of the contract and legal case between Cumbria County Council and Amey.

Amey delivered a contract for roads maintenance worth over £272million between 2005 and 2012.

During the contract the council withheld money because it wasn't happy with the quality of the services.

This resulted in a legal dispute with Amey.

Following the court case the Council commissioned a Lessons Learned report to learn from the experience.

The process was overseen by an experienced Chief Executive from another council.

Cumbria County Council say they are confident the report will help them to avoid similar situations in the future:

We are committed to providing the very best services possible for the people of Cumbria, and understand how important the highways service is to local residents. The council, together with many of our residents, were unhappy with the quality of services being delivered by Amey.

As a result of this, a dispute arose with Amey who launched a legal claim against the Council for £30million and the council had no choice but to defend this claim. Following a lengthy court case the judge found that there were wins and losses on both sides.

Following the conclusion of the legal process my predecessor commissioned a review to ensure that lessons were learned. The report makes a number of important recommendations. These include the need for better contract management and the need to resolve issues at the time they arise.

We welcome the report and we are committed to being open and transparent. Steps have already been taken to respond to the recommendations and we are confident that the additional Action Plan will also help drive forward the improvements that are needed and will help us avoid any similar issues in the future.”

– Katherine Fairclough, Chief Executive of Cumbria County Council