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Erinaceous Three whistleblowers win council claim

Medway Council
Medway Council

by Alan Watkins

awatkins@thekmgroup.co.uk

Three whistleblowers who revealed to their bosses that hundreds of thousands of pounds was being wasted on a housing repairs contract have won employment claims against Medway Council.

The men - known as the Erinaceous Three - were advised by their solicitors today that they have won "substantial damages" against the council. Two of them - Bill Baker and Nigel Pattenden - lost their jobs.

A third - George Allen - is still employed by the council but has a final warning hanging over him. 

The three Medway Council surveyors told an employment tribunal last month how they were treated unfairly after becoming whistle blowers.Mr Baker and Mr Pattenden also claimed unfair dismissal. Mr Allen also sought damages for distress after being disciplined.

The contract involved a major company called Erinaceous who took over the preferred contractor a few days before the Cabinet - awarded the £25 million, five year job.

Within seven months it was nearly half a million pounds overspent on its first year's repairs, but had only done half the work.

The company eventually folded, and the successor has since been bought out by Mears, a Gloucester-based company.

Details of the findings by the Employment Tribunal judge are expected to be released next week.

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