Labour say 'no' to Connaught inquiry

September 29, 2010 3:22 PM

Labour SHAME graphicLiberal Democrat calls for an independent inquiry into the process which led to Connaught being awarded contracts with Norwich City Council were last night rejected by the Labour Executive at City Hall.

Cllr Judith Lubbock asked the Labour Executive to sanction an inquiry after the company went into administration just weeks after being awarded a £17.5m council contract. The collapse led to more than 300 job losses.

Judith Lubbock said in her question:

"The collapse of Connaught has caused huge concern and hardship for those 320 staff who have lost their jobs.

"The collapse has also caused many questions to be asked about the procurement process itself.

"In order that there is public confidence in the council's ability to let future contracts, the Lib Dems are asking that there be a full independent inquiry into the procurement process which led to the Connaught housing repair and maintenance contract."

The Lib Dems also tried to amend a Conservative motion and ask the council's Scrutiny Committee to consider the need for an independent inquiry as part of their review of the letting process. This was rejected after Labour and some Green Councillors voted against the proposal.

Cllr Lubbock added during the meeting:

"I am very disappointed at Labour's attitude. This is a very serious situation which has badly damaged not only the reputation of the council but confidence in it.

"The city council claims to be listening, but when will you listen to what people want, which is a full independent inquiry?"