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Welsh Fibrespeed Broadband Contractors Go Unpaid

Posted: 19th Feb, 2009 By: MarkJ
The Welsh governments £30m Fibrespeed project, which is laying 200 miles of fibre optic cable between businesses in Caernarfon and Wrexham directly into the UK's broadband network, has been hit by controversy after it emerged that some contractors had not been paid.

BBC News Online reports that the sub-contractors are allegedly owed money by a Manchester-based firm known as United Formwork. The assembly government claims not to be at fault and notes that its main contractor, Geo, had not employed those concerned:

Gareth Clarke from Denbigh said he was expecting to be paid at least £17,000 before Christmas but has still not received the money. "It is one of the biggest utility contracts in the country and we thought with the present climate that there is plenty of work to go out but obviously we haven't been paid for it."

"We have been at the work since mid summer and we have worked very hard but payment has not been forthcoming. I had lads to pay at Christmas, I had my VAT to pay at Christmas and obviously the tax wants paying too."

It's understood that others are owed significantly more, with one Cheshire based firm awaiting a payment of no less than £250,000! Sadly United Formwork has been unreachable for comment and there are fears that some businesses may collapse if the issue cannot be resolved.

The report notes that an investigation has now been opened by Geo and its main contractor North Midlands Construction. The first findings are due to surface sometime within the next few days.
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