From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.
It amazes me to think that a company such as Carillion can be expected to run so diverse a business successfully. From engineering to school meals, the variety of skills required could not possibly be overseen effectively.
The only way possible would be to have separate companies with boards of directors responsible for each, and yet it appears that the directors were in the business of lining their own pockets with inflated salaries, which they have tried to protect despite the fact that they must have been aware of the problems looming.
The Government should now only be responsible for directing what funds are left into the pockets of the workers and not to shareholders who should manage their own funds better. If there has been mismanagement, then the people responsible should face the courts.
From: Dave Croucher, Pinfold Gardens, Doncaster.
Once again we see the reward for failure scheme in action, this time with Carillion. Was there nothing learned from the Fred the Shred fiasco? The executive who ran Carillion from 2012 until last July when he stood down from the job was paid £1.5m in wages and bonuses in 2016; he left the company in the autumn and until this week was still banking on being paid a salary of £660,000 and another £28,000 in benefits until October.
The workers at the bottom end of the company look as though they will get nothing except their P45. How much longer are we going to have this discrimination between the rich and the poor?
The workers at the bottom end up with nothing, the executives at the top who are failing to do their job are still being paid outrageous payments.
From: Ric Blenkharn, Welburn, York.
The demise of Carillion highlights an issue which has been affecting the construction industry for some considerable time. Clients have been forced down a route to procure services from contractors compliant with framework agreements. To achieve such status, these contractors have dedicated teams who deal solely with the associated bureaucracy of such agreements. This represents a considerable overhead which has to be passed on to clients.
It doesn’t mean to say that they have the actual expertise to effectively manage and deliver projects, in a way which numerous small and medium-sized companies have.
As an architect, I have had first-hand experience of such processes, which have ultimately led to extreme costs to clients and in some cases bankruptcy as per Carillion. This is particularly an issue in rural areas, where we have excellent local contractors with a dedicated employed workforce who are more than capable of delivering an excellent product. The saying ‘you are only as good as your last job’ is the benchmark for such contractors who clearly care about the service they provide.
Hopefully current discussions about the procurement of construction projects will lead to a reappraisal of process, and in doing so, ensure the effective retention of SME contractors who give gainful long-term employment to many.
From: Peter Bye, Park Crescent, Addingham.
I would like to know how much this company has spent on corporate entertainment, and which MPs, senior civil servants and members of the House of Lords have taken advantage of their generosity.
To little too late on plastic
From: John Appleyard, Firthcliffe Parade, Liversedge.
The Tory Party General Election manifesto of 2017 contained nothing about plastic, but now in an attempt to capture the young voter, Theresa May has pledged to deliver a plastic-free coastline. Her time scale of 25 years is not good enough, in that time a further 300 million tonnes of plastic will enter the oceans.
Labour however did have a commitment to plastics in its election manifesto which included safeguarding habitats and species in the ‘blue belts’ of the seas and oceans surrounding our island, setting guiding targets for plastic bottle schemes, working with food manufacturers and retailers to reduce waste.
Yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur, who sailed solo around the world, said she realised on her journey how small our planet is and how heavily polluted our oceans are. We should heed her concerns.
Churchill film inspires pride
From: Canon Michael Storey, Healey Wood Rod, Brighouse.
I went along to see this recent film of how Winston Churchill was involved in Government in the early days of the Second World War. What a magnificent performance by Gary Oldman.
Having been born in 1936, I can remember much of the war, its hardships and the will to win and defeat the enemy, Fascist Germany.
The will to win and keep the freedom of our green and pleasant land came over very, very strongly in the film. It made me very proud to live in a free country, thanks to Winston and all those who made our country free.
It would be a good thing for all immigrants and schoolchildren to see this film and come to value where we live – free.