Peterborough City Council has terminated its contract with Carillion, it has announced this evening (Monday, January 29).
The contract relates to works at Jack Hunt School in Netherton, St Michael’s Church School in Cardea and the new Hampton Gardens School.
Jack Hunt is due to increase by one form of entry for September 2018, with a £6.6 million expansion including 11 new classrooms, a science classroom, an all-weather sports pitch and a new dining hall and kitchen.
Explaining its decision, the council said: “If the council does not terminate the contract relating to the Jack Hunt expansion as soon as possible and the site does not revert to the school, there are financial, health and safety and security implications.
“A site inspection was carried out by the council’s representative on January 16 which revealed that building materials had been removed from the site.
“There is a risk that further assets will be removed from the site (i.e site hoarding which segregates the construction site from the rest of the school site) which in turn could leave the site and the school exposed to security and health and safety risks.”
The council says it is now considering alternative options to ensure the school can accommodate the additional form of entry from September 2018.
Works at the other two schools finished last year. However, the council added: “The contracts are still in operation and both are in the 12 month defect
“If any defects are identified during this period the contractor is liable and will rectify the defect.
“In addition, the council, under the payment terms of the contract, hold retention funds. These are paid to the contractor upon completion of all rectification works in the 12 month period.”
Collapsed contractor Carillion has a base in Manasty Road, Orton Southgate, and its major contracts in the city included the £43 million revamp of Peterborough Station.
The proposed new Hampton Lakes Primary School and the proposed new Heltwate Special School to be built at Newark Road were both at the design stage with Carillion.
At last week’s Full Council meeting, council leader Cllr John Holdich said Carillion had always delivered “on time and on budget.”
Cabinet member for resources Cllr David Seaton said £3.1 million had so far been paid for the Jack Hunt project with the last payment coming on January 3.
He said the contract for the deal was signed off a month before Carillion issued a profit warning in July 2017.
He added that the council owns the designs for Hampton Lakes and Heltwate and that payment has only been given for the work done.
Labour’s group leader on the council, Cllr Ed Murphy, said: “I requested a report from the chief executive at Peterborough City Council the day after the liquidation for mine and the MP’s consideration.
“Though the report took longer to be received than expected, steps to protect the interests of council tax payers and health and safety at the sites where Carillion were engaged have already been carried out.”