Hull Lovell staff to be paid amid contract uncertainty

Image caption,
The contract was transferred to Lovell by Hull City Council after Connaught's collapse in September

Hull council workers who say they have not worked since housing repair firm Connaught went into administration have been told they will be paid.

The contract was transferred by Hull council to Lovell Partnerships in September, after Connaught's collapse.

The 129 staff had feared they would not receive their December wages, as uncertainty remains over the contract.

But Lovell Partnerships has confirmed workers will receive their December pay packets.

Hull council is expected to meet on Monday, after the decision to award the contract was referred back to its cabinet.

Lovell's managing director Stewart Davenport said although the contract had been transferred, the Liberal Democrat-led council had still not made a final decision on which company would carry out out the work formerly undertaken by Connaught.

He said despite this, Lovell had made a commitment to the workers and they would be paid.

"We are ready to do the work and very much want to secure the jobs locally.

'Council discussions'

"Lovell has been paying the former Connaught employees in Hull since 1 September 2010 and we can confirm that they will be paid on 17 December.

"We have a good relationship with the unions and are keeping them informed of the progress of our discussions with the council so that staff are fully in the picture."

Joe Gibbons, of the Unison union, said: "Lovells obviously stood in the breach when Hull City Council was dithering over where the contract was going.

"That was good of them and they have paid the men for doing nothing over the last three months.

'Best decision'

"It's tragic really, the whole scenario and the situation."

Councillor Dave Woods, from Hull City Council, said: "The decision was based on making sure that the housing stock and the housing repairs got done.

"No-one wants to see anyone out of a job, especially at this time of year.

"This idea that we are these evil people who are hell-bent on destroying people's lives is complete nonsense.

"We are trying to make the best decision we can for the employees, for the city and for making sure housing repairs are done in time."

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