Redbridge Council’s six-figure out-of-court settlement with grounds contractor

A leaf in grass. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire/Press Association Images

A leaf in grass. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire/Press Association Images - Credit: PA WIRE

The council has settled out-of-court with a grounds maintenance contractor following a dispute over services.

Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal revealed the borough paid Ground Control £304,000 at a strategy and resources service committee meeting last week.

The settlement comes after the authority said it terminated its contract with the company in 2014 after a dispute over the quality of the service being provided.

Speaking to the Recorder in 2014, Ground Control claimed the authority owed an estimated £600,000 of overdue payments, subsequently leaving 31 staff facing redundancy.

A council spokesman said: “This matter was settled before the end of 2015 after being referred to mediation. At strategy and resources service committee there were discussions about grounds maintenance in the context of the leisure services budget.

“The council is unable to comment any further as confidentiality forms part of our agreement with Ground Control.”

He added: “We will always use the most efficient and cost effective measures to resolve disputes and we are pleased that in this particular case the use of mediation has avoided the expense of a trial.”

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Ground Control managing director Marcus Watson said the firm was unable to comment on the settlement too, but did say the company was “delighted to be working directly with many Redbridge schools” on their grounds maintenance.

“We look forward to continuing to provide Redbridge schools with a fabulous, cost effective service for many years to come,” he said.