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Posted by: John Brace | 30th September 2013

A joint Colas/Wirral Council production: Sherlock in “Good riddance to bad rubbish”, eleven skips that cost £1,584

A joint Colas/Wirral Council production: Sherlock in “Good riddance to bad rubbish”, eleven skips that cost £1,584

                               

Wirral Council Colas invoice Birkenhead Park August 2012 small

The invoice above (the thumbnail links to a larger image), for £144 for skips at Birkenhead Park in August 2012 is one in a series of eleven Colas invoices. The other ten are invoices for Warren Farm (April 2012, £144), Frankby Cemetery (May 2012, £144), Birkenhead Park (again) (May 2012, £144), Frankby Cemetery (another from May 2012, £144), Frankby Cemetery (again) (May 2012, £144), Highway Division (September 2012, £144), Frankby Cemetery (April 2012, £144), Ivy Farm (August 2012, £144), Birkenhead Park (September 2012, £144) and Love Lane allotments (September 2012, £144).

This raises the following questions that hopefully someone out there will answer by leaving a comment.

1. Is £144 a reasonable amount for a skip or if Wirral Council had used a local supplier would it have been better value for money?

2. Why were skips needed at these locations? Is it to clear up flytipping, building work or something else?

3. Where are the Love Lane allotments (anybody answering in Love Lane will find their comment is not approved)?

4. What and where is Ivy Farm?

5. What and where is Warren Farm?

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Responses

  1. £144 is almost 3 times the price from a local supplier. Love Lane is the road leading to the back of VCH hospital in Liscard towards Central Park.Ivy Farm is the location by Arrowe Park opp Landican.
    Warren Farm,I think,is were the new medical centre is located on the former Warrens nursery site in Thingwall.
    Locations are an irrelevancy the cost is the main issue! It appears that Colas are charging the first figure that comes to mind and the finance dept are signing them off without any checking.

    • Thanks I tried checking on the websites of local skip firms before writing, but they just had get in touch for a quote rather than specific prices.

      Skips also require a skip permit costing between £15 and £25 from Wirral Council. The invoices don’t detail whether this cost is included, or whether as Wirral Council has ordered the skips that they’re arranging this themselves.

      The Colas contract is currently out to tender with Wirral Council’s Cabinet deciding on a new supplier in November, see here for further details although this page has the year wrong and 2015 should read 2014. Even if Colas subcontract to a local supplier, the contract that Wirral has with them allows Colas to charge 4.5% above what the local supplier charges them when billing Wirral Council.

      Ivy Farm (opposite a cemetery) makes sense as a few of the other invoices were for a cemetery and I’m sure they produce plenty of topsoil when digging that has to go somewhere. Thanks for pointing out where Love Lane is and for leaving such a detailed comment.

  2. This raises the following questions that hopefully someone out there will answer by leaving a comment.

    1. Is £144 a reasonable amount for a skip or if Wirral Council had used a local supplier would it have been better value for money?

    I think a local suppler of skips could have given more value for money and it would have shown that the council is supporting local business by buying local.

    2. Why were skips needed at these locations? Is it to clear up flytipping, building work or something else?

    now and then local groups that work on the sites mentioned have big clear outs and require a skip, I done this at Leasowe Lighthouse and a skip was needed for this. It got rid of years of clutter.

    3. Where are the Love Lane allotments (anybody answering in Love Lane will find their comment is not approved)?

    Love lane allotments are actually on Love Lane in Wallasey behind Victoria Central hospital & Next to Park Primary School they are part of Central Park.

    4. What and where is Ivy Farm?

    Ivy farm is a farm or now just buildings I think, its located on Arrowe Park road and is part of the park.

    5. What and where is Warren Farm?

    Warren Farm, Warren Lane, Wirral. What it is I’m guessing some type of farm not sure what one looked it up on google but not much about it.

    • Thanks for those responses. When you were involved with a local group clearing out Leasowe Lighthouse did Wirral Council pay for the skip or the local group?

      • I have been involved with Leasowe Lighthouse since 1994 and I’m still a member but don’t help out like I once did. The clear out was in 2009 and WBC paid for the skip, it was done by Wirral Ranger Service.

  3. hi john having had my roof replaced recently I found the cost of skips quite high 2x8tonne £361.00 including permits & vat & one 5tonne @ £151.00 so the colas charges @ £144.00 each seems quite reasonable however if Colas spent a bit more time repairing roads in prenton where no councillors live instead of laying huge quantities on ex council estates & huge areas of bebington & oxton where lots of councillors live I would be a happy man, bearing in mind most residents here are band D & E paying upwards of £1800.00 to £2000.00 & having third world roads.

    • These invoices ranged from half a tonne to nine tonnes, but most were around the 3-4 tonnes mark. The price does include VAT. The Labour councillor for Streetscene and Transport is Cllr Harry Smith, who maybe you could get in touch with over your local roads.


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