Local civil engineering bosses have slammed the way Hull City Council highways contracts are being awarded.
Pete Smurthwaite, managing director of PBS, said the council’s tendering is solely aimed at driving down cost, rather than looking at the broader benefits to the local economy.
His comments come after Daniel Roche, a director at MB Roche and Sons, spoke out earlier this month, after Galliford Try was awarded a £158,000 contract by the city council to carry out resurfacing work in the city centre.
Since Galliford Try was awarded the contract for the Alfred Gelder Street works, three more similar highways works contracts have been awarded to the company by the council.
Smurthwaite told the Hull Daily Mail: “I can fully understand where Daniel Roche is coming from.
“I accept it’s a competitive tendering process, but there does not seem to be any account being taken of the value of using local companies in terms of local jobs, local skills and putting money back into the local economy.
“With a company the size of Galliford Try, once a contract is awarded that money pretty much goes straight out of Hull.”
Galliford Try is included in a list of five contractors approved by the council to tender for term contract highways work.
Others on the list are Hull firms MB Roche, PBS Construction and Wright Civil Engineering, along with North Midland Construction, of Nottingham.
Smurthwaite said: “I’m not having a go at Galliford Try. It’s the council’s procurement process that needs looking at.
“Of the five of us, we have won two contracts in the past 18 months, Wrights has got one and Galliford Try has got nine.
“That tells me it’s not a level playing field.”
Ian Anderson, Hull City Council’s town clerk, said: “The council continues to work to support local organisations in their bids for contract opportunities, holding engagement events and meet-the-buyer days and providing advice and guidance on tender bids.
“We have published a procurement forward plan on the council’s website that enables companies to identify future opportunities.
“Currently, our procurement spend with local suppliers is about 56 per cent, which is the fourth highest in the Yorkshire and Humber region.”