Sussex

Contractor overcharges Brighton and Hove City Council by £300,000

A council has said it has been overcharged by more than £300,000 by the company responsible for repairs to council houses.

Brighton and Hove City Council said its internal auditors discovered contractor Mears had overcharged the authority during a 17-month period.

The council's contract with Mears is worth around £27m per year.

A spokesman for Mears said the company would repay the money and blamed one of its subcontractors for overcharging it.

This cost was passed on to the council.

A council spokeswoman said: "Our own in-house contract compliance team discovered overpayments were being made to one sub-contractor and has worked proactively with Mears and the council's internal auditors to put the service back on track.

"Mears has given written undertakings to repay the amounts overcharged."

Mears said it was "working closely" with the council to resolve the issue and any "incorrect valuation of charges" would be "corrected in full".

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