A long-running dispute between England’s largest local authority and a top contractor has taken another twist, with news that an adjudicator has been brought in.
This marks the second stage of the dispute between Birmingham City Council and Amey, after bitter disagreements over the quality of road repairs in the city date back to last autumn.
Amey has a £2.7bn contract to maintain the city’s roads and pavements over 25 years, which started in 2010.
After months of negotiations, with the council claiming pothole repairs and resurfacing work has not been up to scratch, an adjudicator has been brought in and if no solution is found the parties could end up in the courts.
A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm that we are formally in a dispute with Amey and have referred the matter to an external independent adjudicator, as per the process in the contract.
‘We have a £2.7bn contract with Amey and there will always be contractual matters the authority is discussing with its service provider. However, we are hopeful that we will be able to resolve matters soon and come to an agreement in due course. Given the current position, it wouldn’t be appropriate to go into any details.’
A spokesperson for Amey said: ‘Amey remains committed to delivering a quality service. We regularly review and discuss issues with the council through the appropriate contract structures and are confident the current matter will be resolved in a positive way. Our ongoing service is not affected by this process.’
After an initial investment period that saw Amey pour cash into upgrading and resurfacing roads and installing energy efficient street lights the contract has entered its second phase, with the priority on maintenance.
The council is also trying to negotiate a £2.8m reduction in the £42 million-a-year cost of the contracts.