Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Reportage: Jobs lost at salvage yards after police tender contracts out

Breakage yards in Calderdale have been struggling since West Yorkshire Police awarded salvaging contracts to a South Yorkshire company.

The disposal of broken and abandoned vehicles in the district was put out to tender by West Yorkshire Police and awarded to Doncaster Motor Spares Limited which trades under the name Motorhog.

As a consequence, Holmfield Autos, Halifax, had to lay off 70 per cent of its workforce.

Andrew Rothery, left, director of Holmfield Autos with Conservative parliamentary candidate Philip Allott.

“It’s impacted a lot of people all round this area,” said Gavin Rothery, manager director at Holmfield Autos.

“I used to spend most of my week driving between Halifax, Bradford, Keighley and Leeds to pick up vehicle.

“We’ve gone from doing 50 cars a week to less than five.”

Before tendering, the salvaging and recovery of vehicles was conducted by local independent companies who would all be given work.

Bob Lech, owner of Fairlee breakers yard, Luddendenfoot, said: “It’s ridiculous what they’ve done to us. It’s bad because they’re taking business away from the area.”

Parliamentary candidate Philip Allott criticised West Yorkshire Police’s handling of the tendering process, he said: “No West Yorkshire company benefited from the tendering - the police should be supporting their local economy.”

Director of business services at West Yorkshire Police, John Prentice, said: “An open tender was conducted in 2011 in accordance with European regulations, with adverts being placed in the Official Journal of the European Union and on the Bluelight Emergency Services eTendering site.

“Under the open tender process, local firms were provided with the opportunity to bid for this contract; with four suppliers within the force area, two in South Yorkshire and one in North Yorkshire doing so.

“The tender process covered the suppliers’ abilities to demonstrate that they met our specification and requirements, resulting in the contract being awarded to a supplier outside the force area.

“Ideally the force would wish to keep business in West Yorkshire. However, it is imperative that value for money is demonstrated.”

This article was published in the Halifax Courier March 28, 2014.

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