WE should not be surprised by the latest display of crass stupidity by Suffolk County Council in the form of the crossing in the town centre.
Local authorities nationwide have a reputation demonstrating a total lack of commercial awareness in their profligate use of ratepayers’ money when dreaming up schemes such as this. The term value for money is not within their vocabulary!
It should come as no surprise that the original tender price was exceeded by 50 per cent. Project overruns are invariably caused by poor pre-planning, a lack of information at tender stage and general weak management during the contract period.
Contractors are renowned for using such situations by submitting a low price at tender stage knowing that the work cannot be completed to the original specification and that there will be variations once the contract is under way.
As other correspondents have noted, the traffic calming measures which seem to have been the main justification for this scheme are a complete nonsense.
The county council spokeswoman quoted in the Free Press stated that the project “was completed on programme and with a reduced impact on the travelling public”.
This was due entirely to the night work which was not within the original bid. We can assume from this that under the original contract term there would have been yet another project overrun.
As to the finished quality of the work, she might like to view the paving which abuts the corner of the Winch and Blatch frontage which has been laid to an incorrect level and allows rainwater to accumulate against this frontage.
The real tragedy of this whole debacle is that ratepayers are paying the salaries and pensions of council employees with no commercial acumen who would not last a week doing the same job in the private sector. Sadly the “rolling of heads” called for will not happen but no doubt performance bonuses will still be paid.
A T ELLIOTT