Council’s in deeper

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NORTH Lanarkshire Council has been forced to pay an extra £500,000 to a contractor for work in Motherwell town centre.

RJ McLeod was appointed in February 2009 to implement the first phase of the town centre improvement plan on Merry Street, from Muir Street to Menteith Road.

The approved contract sum was more than £1.6 million and the work was due to last 10 months, but ran late due to complications.

The environmental services committee has now agreed that RJ McLeod will receive an additional £491,810, bringing the total bill to £2,114,008.

In a report to the committee, head of planning and development Shirley Linton said: “This additional sum was required to address problems relating to ground conditions and underground constraints, the nature and extent of which were not known until excavation works started, and to cover the associated prolongation and disruption costs.

“The issues relate in the main to the number, location and depth of services, the location of the disused railway tunnel under Merry Street and its impact on the proposed new drainage runs and lighting layout, and the presence of underground voids in the pedestrian precinct.

“The additional works to address problems encountered on site were necessary for the completion of the project as intended.”

The additional funds come out of the council’s Motherwell town centre capital budget.