Several requests by a Liberal Democrat councillor have resulted in parts of a previously secret report being released for public scrutiny.
The contract to restore West Park Stray following catastrophic damage during the cycling championships of the previous autumn was awarded to a firm in Chorley, Lancashire through a process of single tender, meaning only one company was asked to quote.
Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) decided to award the contract to Glendale Managed Services of Chorley despite denying the opportunity to quote for at least two local firms who subsequently said they had the capacity to do the job.
Harrogate’s excuse was that 'time was of the essence' as the land had to seeded by the end of May to catch the growing season. The seeding did not actually take place until late June.
Cllr Geoff Webber, leader of the Lib Dem group on North Yorkshire County Council, expressed concerns at time saying:
"At the very start of the lock-down the county council asked North Yorkshire businesses, including district councils, to 'shop local' in order to preserve employment and business in North Yorkshire. I was disappointed at the time that the HBC leader and cabinet decided to ignore that request, particularly since several of them serve on both councils."
He since added:
"The report now shows that they accepted the recommendation to award the contract to Glendale on the basis that it was a 'local supplier'. I find it incredible that Chorley, only 8 miles north of Wigan, is considered to be local. So much for supporting local businesses."