Worthing Council reaches rumoured £700k out of court settlement with NCP over car park row (From The Argus)
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Worthing Council reaches rumoured £700k out of court settlement with NCP over car park row
Worthing Council has agreed to compensate a parking firm just days before it was due to appear before court.
Worthing Borough Council was due to fight an alleged breach of contract with parking company NCP today at London's High Court.
The authority was being sued for more than £1 million after it ended a decade-long parking contract with the firm to bring services back in-house. It was claimed NCP's prices were having a detrimental effect on Worthing's economy.
But days before the case an out-of-court settlement was agreed with NCP, believed to be about £700,000.
The settlement will have come as a relief to council bosses, who last week voiced concern that an “already cash-strapped council” would have had to fork out £1.5 million if it lost the case.
Insiders say taxpayers' will not directly fund the settlement figure through money-making exercises, like council tax rises, because the council budgets for unforeseen expenditure.
Councillor Daniel Humphreys, cabinet member for resources at Worthing Borough Council, said: “I cannot comment on the announcement, but prices have been reduced dramatically down to £1 an hour in all multi-storey car parks previously run by NCP.
“The company does not run the council's car parks anymore.”
The council's former head of technical services, Cliff Harrison, lost his job in relation to the contract dispute.
A statement from Worthing Borough Council said: “Worthing Borough Council and NCP are pleased to announce the amicable settlement of the contract dispute.
“The contract, which is due to finish on March 31 2014, sees the end of a ten-year period during which NCP has managed and operated the town's multi storey car parks and a number of surface car parks on behalf of the council.
“The parties have agreed to keep the details of the settlement agreement between them confidential and not to disclose the details to any third party.”