Builders in cross-fire as some clients in Scotland fail to halt work

Aaron Morby 2 months ago

Contractors are coming under fire in Scotland for failing to follow the First Minister’s instruction to halt construction on all but essential sites, like hospital projects.

Sighthill regeneration project in Glasgow where Morgan Sindall is awaiting instruction to stop work
Sighthill regeneration project in Glasgow where Morgan Sindall is awaiting instruction to stop work

Firms said they are powerless to follow Nichola Sturgeon’s political call for works to stop because of the failure of local authority clients to instruct them to close sites.

One major contractor, who asked not to be named, said: “We’re caught between a rock and a hard place. The public and unions are berating us for continuing to work, but we can’t stop without our client’s say-so. It would leave us wide open to delay notices and end in protracted disputes in the courts.

“It an impossible situation at present.”

Union Unite condemned Morgan Sindall over the weekend for planning to resume work on the high-profile £250m Sighthill regeneration project for Glasgow City Council.

Pat Rafferty, Unite Scottish Secretary, said: “It’s absolutely staggering that the Sighthill regeneration project is scheduled to re-open on Monday.

“The Scottish Government’s instruction is not being adhered to and tougher measures must be brought forward with immediate effect.”

Now the Scottish Government has pledged to intervene and said it would contact Morgan Sindall to stop works this week.

Despite a clear statement from Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon last week, there has been a mixed response from clients so far.

Edinburgh City Council took the decision to instruct contractors Morrison Utility Services  and Sacyr Farrans Neopul to cease site works on the Edinburgh tram project last Thursday.

But contractors are still working for various public procurement Hub Companies across Scotland because they have not received instructions to stop.

One Hubco spokesperson confided that they were still working through the process and had to consult with various local authority clients before halting site work.

The Scottish Future Trust, which oversees Scotland’s five Hubcos said that hub companies would be following  Scottish Government guidance.

David MacDonald, hub programme director at the Scottish Futures Trust, said: “The health and safety of all employees across the hub programme is of paramount importance to us.

“The five hub companies are following government guidance and can confirm that all non-essential construction sites have closed down or are in the final stages of being closed down.”

He added: “A number of sites have been classified as essential by contracting authorities and work will continue while safe operating procedures and social distancing measures are in place.”




Latest news

Fit-out firm fined £1.1m after ladder fall

Engineer needs transfusion after massive blood loss caused by fall injury
44 mins ago

SIG management blunders rack-up £112.7m loss

New boss promises growth strategy after PwC called in to investigate divisional forecasts
7 hours ago

Union calls for construction workers to wear masks

Unite demands revisions to Construction Leadership Council guidelines
1 day ago

Robertson approved to start major Blackpool hotel

Site clearance to start next week on phase 2 of £100m Talbot Gateway regeneration
6 hours ago

Failed NHS Nightingale joinery firm sold in pre-pack deal

J&P Carpentry and Joinery went into administration after working on Birmingham NEC hospital
1 day ago

Steel erection starts on first HS2 bridges

Cleveland Bridge starts erecting 65m bridge to span M42
6 hours ago

Scotland’s builders begin return to work preparations

Firms hope to be cleared to return to work from mid-June
7 hours ago

£61m infra loan to pave way for 6,500-home scheme

Local contractors to sign first deals this summer to transform Cambridgeshire site
7 hours ago

Keep the industry updated by joining the Enquirer Directory

Membership lets construction know you are open for business now or in the future
2 years ago

Vistry asks subcontractors to cut rates

House builder warns trade packages could be retendered
1 day ago

TClarke rides out lockdown and eyes £2m half-year profit

M&E boss says swift cost savings helped firm breakeven in April and May
1 day ago

Kier confirmed for £97m Heartlands Hospital job

Work to start this summer on Ambulatory Care and Diagnostics Centre
1 day ago

Costain completes £100m fund raise

Dubai contractor takes 15% stake in Costain
1 day ago

Tycoon’s £1bn flats scheme consent quashed in Whitehall U-turn

Housing secretary accused of bias in backing Richard Desmond's 1,500-flat Isle of Dogs scheme
2 days ago

First pictures of giant HS2 tunnelling machines

TBMs being manufactured in Germany before launch on site later this year
1 day ago

M&E contractors hoping to ‘hold on’ through covid crisis

Engineering services leaders urge whole supply chain to work together to survive
1 day ago

Griffiths to start £25m historic Welsh viaduct upgrade

Restoration work to start next month on 150-year-old wooden viaduct
1 day ago

Barratt subcontractor rate cut letters “sent in error”

Specialists assured that 15% rate reductions are "not company policy"
2 days ago

NHS Nightingale joinery firm goes under

J & P Carpentry and Joinery collapses weeks after fast-track NEC conversion
2 days ago

EDF seeks consent for £18bn Sizewell C nuclear plant

Project will employ 25,000 construction workers, delivering a big post-covid 19 stimulus
2 days ago

Covid-19 compliance officers keep Ballymore sites safe

Contractors can draft in virus-protection help from new specialist supplier
2 days ago

ISG secures £17m Dudley leisure centre

Work to start on delayed Flood Street area leisure centre and swimming pool
2 days ago

Construction output to plunge 25% this year

Despite a strong rebound 2021 forecast to be down 6% from last year
3 days ago

£1bn building safety cladding fund open to applicants

Residential building owners can apply for funding for remedial work on non-ACM cladding systems
3 days ago

Roads contractors told to halve accident rates

Highways England aims to build on improved site safety performance seen during covid-19
3 days ago

Keepmoat to restart work on sites across England

House builder employs 1,150 staff and supports 10,000 supply chain jobs
3 days ago

A66 TransPennine £1bn upgrade route picked

Amey/Arup JV wins £45m design contract
6 days ago

Plan in for station on £40m revived Birmingham rail line

Plan lodged for new Moseley station on Camp Hill railway re-opening project
3 days ago

Highways firm trials social distancing tags on sites

Lightweight system can be clipped on belts, lanyards or hard hats
3 days ago

Ferrovial drops Agroman name

Ferrovial Construction become major project brand
3 days ago

Contractor services