Council in asbestos court war

editorial image

A contract to remove asbestos from tenants’ houses has landed MK council in the High Court.

In a case that could cost the council tens of thousands of pounds, a private company challenged the tendering process.

Bletchley-based Woods Building Services already provided asbestos removal services for the council, removing the potentially lethal substance from council houses built before the 1980s.

At that time asbestos fibres were commonly found in insulation materials.

It was also used in toilet cisterns, wall cladding, floor tiles and textured paint coatings.

When tenders were invited for a new £8 million, four year contract earlier this year, Woods applied. But they lost out to another company called European Asbestos Services.

Woods challenged the council’s decision through the High Court , saying the tender evaluation process was unfair.

This month judge Mr Justice Coulson ruled in the company’s favour.

A council spokesman told the Citizen: “We are disappointed the court felt we fell short of our own controls, which it did not criticise. We fought this case as we felt the tender was sound.”

Meanwhile the asbestos removal programming is continuing as normal throughout the city.

We are disappointed by this judgement as we felt the tender was sound – but we will be reviewing and – if we need to – we will make changes