Two men at £40 an hour to clear spill

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A company boss is hopping mad after being charged nearly £300 by county highways to treat a “table top” sized diesel spill.

Moulton Bulb Company director Chris Woodrow had a car breakdown on Barrier Bank at Cowbit.

The vehicle was taken away on a low-loader by recovery company Tears, who sorted the spill with absorbent granules.

But then the county highways sent a two-man team in a 3.5 tonne truck to deal with the same incident – paying one £38.40 an hour for two-and-a-half hours and the second £41.06 an hour for the same period.

The rates were higher than normal because it was a Sunday.

Mr Woodrow said: “In terms of labour, I am just absolutely gobsmacked at that. I don’t know anyone who actually gets that hourly rate.

“I appreciate there would have been some cost implication involved but I just find £300 is extortionate.

“I have to ask the question are they actually employing the right contractors?”

Mr Woodrow had an email correspondence with a county council official questioning the size of the bill, why a two man team was needed, why so many hours were charged for such a small job and why a 3.5 tonne truck was used.

The official, a financial management officer, replied that a two-man team is sent to any incident to comply with health and safety, the time quoted was from leaving to returning to the depot and the 3.5 tonne truck is the standard vehicle used.

She also said: “Lincolnshire County Council has a term maintenance contract with May Gurney to provide most highways works. This contract was subject to tender and is regularly checked to ensure lowest costs according to best value.”