Southwark Council has given the contractor until the end of March to improve standards before considering its options, while Birmingham Council has said it wants to meet the firm next month to ‘consider’ its £3m deal.
A default notice for £1m has been issued by Southwark for work which mostly hasn’t been completed, but paid for. Morrison has earned around £9.5m from its repairs and maintenance contract with Southwark. A scrutiny committee report highlighted that money was being paid for more work than was actually being carried out.
Birmingham has also added pressure by threatening to end a five-year contract, thought to be worth £3m, after only two years.
Morrison created an improvement plan in December 2011 for the Birmingham contract in which it admits ‘performance hasn’t been that required’, while pledging to improve. In the plan, Morrison said it was in this position due to, among other things, ‘inadequate mobilisation’, ‘poor management’, ‘flawed diagnosis of the cause of the problems’ and ‘lack of focus from engineers’.
The contractor said it would be employing more engineers and back-office staff to improve the service as well as deploying gas specialist staff to the contract to share knowledge and best practice.