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Suffolk County Council rich list: Which firms got the most money this year?

Waste firm Suez, which received £15.9m, runs the county's energy-from-waste incinerator at Great Blakenham. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Waste firm Suez, which received £15.9m, runs the county's energy-from-waste incinerator at Great Blakenham. Picture: SIMON PARKER

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What did Suffolk County Council do with your hard-earned tax this year?

Kier, which received £45.8m from Suffolk County Council, quoted £322,000 to repaint the Eastgate Bridge in Bury St Edmunds earlier this year. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL Kier, which received £45.8m from Suffolk County Council, quoted £322,000 to repaint the Eastgate Bridge in Bury St Edmunds earlier this year. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL

We have taken a look at Suffolk County Council’s latest spending data, which runs from January to November this year, to see which firms got the most money. Many of the firms getting the most cash are owned by the council.

1) Kier - £45.8m

By far and away the company getting the most cash from the council is Kier. It has a five-year contract, worth £200m, to maintain and repair all county council roads in Suffolk. The council agreed last year to extend its contract for another five years, but Kier’s work in Suffolk has been controversial in the past.

Care UK took over Suffolk's care homes and has built 10 new centres in the county. The team at Care UKs Cedrus House care home in Stowmarket celebrate their good CQC report. Picture: CONTRIBUTED Care UK took over Suffolk's care homes and has built 10 new centres in the county. The team at Care UKs Cedrus House care home in Stowmarket celebrate their good CQC report. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Earlier this year we reported it quoted £32,000 to repaint a small bridge in Bury St Edmunds.

The contract started in 2013 and in 2015 it emerged the council and Kier were in a dispute over work worth about £1.5m

And in 2015 there was a 50% increase in complaints from motorists about roadworks taking place too slowly.

2) Suez - £15.9m

Waste firm Suez runs the county’s energy-from-waste incinerator at Great Blakenham, as part of a £1billion, 25-year contract.

It also takes waste from Norfolk and stops rubbish going in to landfill. Burning the waste then creates energy for 30,000 homes, according to the County Council.

3) Vertas Ipswich - £10.8m

Vertas Ipswich is a Suffolk County Council-owned company that manages council property. It manages council offices, provides school meals and carries out maintenance. It is part of the Vertas Group.

4) Breheny - £10.2m

Breheny is one of the largest road building companies in the area. It was paid the money for building the Bury Eastern Relief Road which opened in October.

5) Vertas Group Ltd - £9.34m

Vertas Group is a facilities management firm owned by the County Council. It has a turnover of £44m and employs around 2,300 staff across 400 sites in the East of England.

6) Care UK - £9.1m

Care UK took over Suffolk’s care homes and built modern replacements. It is the largest single contractor providing residential care for old people in Suffolk and has built 10 new care homes in the county.

7) Schools Choice Suffolk - £8.5m

Schools Choice is another council-owned company. It provides “professional support services”, according to its website to schools.

That includes learning programmes and helping schools which have converted to academies.

8) The Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People - £8m

The service is for people who are given money by the council but arrange their own care rather than using the council’s care services. Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People offers a service for these people to help them manage their direct payment including a payroll service where they are employing personal assistants. Where the customer wants this service the direct payment is paid to the Coalition of Disabled People, which then passes the money on, rather than the person who is getting the care. That is why they appear on the list of biggest suppliers in terms of money paid.

9) Opus People Solutions - £7.8m

Another council owned company, Opus People Solutions is a recruitment firm formed by Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire councils to handle HR and recruitment in those councils.

10) Leading Lives - £7.5m

Leading Lives is a co-operative set up by the county council to provide home care support to people with disabilities across Suffolk.

Its support works provide social care for over 1,500 people in the county. According to inspectors form the Care Quality Commission (CQC) all of its services are ranted “Good” apart from Kesgrave Bungalow in Kesgrave which “requires improvement”. A Suffolk County Council spokesman said all contract tenders were “openly advertised”.

They added: “The council buys a wide range of goods and services to fulfil its needs, always ensuring that the best value is obtained for any money that is spent.”

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