Fury greets ban on queries over ‘£115,000’ physio con­tract

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - KAREN BRITTON

COUN­CIL bosses say they will not an­swer any more ques­tions re­lat­ing to a con­tract worth up to £115,000 which was given to the leader’s phys­io­ther­a­pist.

Con­cerns have been raised around the deci- sion by Cheshire East to award the con­tract to run fit­ness ses­sions in schools and com­mu­nity cen­tres to Core Fit, a com­pany run by Amanda Mor­ris, out­side the coun­cil’s nor­mal ten­der­ing rules.

The com­pany was in­volved in a pi­lot scheme in 2014 to pro­vide fit­ness classes at pri­mary schools and com­mu­nity cen­tres across Cheshire East.

And in Fe­bru­ary a year long con­tract was put out to ten­der, at­tract­ing a num­ber of bid­ders for the lu­cra­tive deal.

But it was awarded to Core Fit in March, with­out the ten­der process be­ing com­pleted.

And in April the ten­der process was of­fi­cially waived by three se­nior coun­cil of­fi­cers, stat­ing that more time was needed to carry out a full eval­u­a­tion of the pi­lot scheme.

Coun­cil leader Michael Jones ad­mit­ted that he in­tro­duced Amanda Mor­ris to coun­cil of­fi­cers but said it was coun­cil of­fi­cers’ de­ci­sion to can­cel the pro­cure­ment process.

The Ex­press has been try­ing to get an­swers, ask­ing the coun­cil press of­fice on at least four oc­ca­sions to clar­ify why the ten­der was stopped and why the con­tract was handed to Core Fit.

But the coun­cil did not an­swer, in­stead stat­ing: “The process with re­gard to all pro­cure­ment pro­ce­dures is in the pub­lic do­main and pub­lished on the coun­cil’s web­site.

“If a pro­cure­ment process is un­der­taken and no bid is suit­able to the spec­i­fi­ca­tion re­quired, then no con­tract is awarded.”

The coun­cil then re­fused to an­swer three queries about whether there will be an in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the is­sue.

And dur­ing a call to the press of­fice this week, a spokesman said the author­ity will not an­swer any more ques­tions re­lat­ing to Core Fit.

Coun Nick Man­nion, for Mac­cles­field West and Ivy ward, said the move showed ‘con­tempt’ for the peo­ple of Cheshire East.

He said: “Th­ese are very se­ri­ous mat­ters. The coun­cil can­not put its fin­gers in its ears, shut its eyes and hope this will go away.”

Coun Laura Jeuda, for Mac­cles­field South, said: “There are unan­swered ques­tions and it’s not ac­cept­able they won’t an­swer them.”

Amanda Mor­ris could not be con­tacted for com­ment.

Pic­ture: Ailsa Oak­ley

●● Luke Steven­son and Richard Shute as Joe Gargery and Jag­gers in re­hearsals for Great Ex­pec­ta­tions at MADS theatre

●● Coun­cil­lor Nick Man­nion says the de­ci­sion shows con­tempt for the peo­ple of Cheshire East

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.