Wiltshire Publications

“Where is the passion for Westbury?” School criticised for not using local companies

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LOCAL tool hire company, Hire Standards, has criticised Matravers School for not employing local trade companies to complete their multi-million pound building project.

The company and many other businesses in the town, received a letter from Matravers  School headteacher Dr Simon Riding asking for donations towards the construction of a new 23-classroom teaching block, with the aim of raising £500,000. 

However, Matthew Rowe, managing director at Hire Standards, has responded to the letter claiming that ‘no local companies were approached to tender for the job,’ with the school choosing instead to employ a national company, Midas. 

It highlights the issue of local schools and indeed, Wiltshire Council, using national companies – rather than local firms – for most projects locally.

Matthew Rowe wrote – in a letter to headteacher Dr Riding – “When the build started at the school, a member of our staff visited site to contact Midas with regards to supplying any equipment that could be required. Unfortunately, we were told that we are not a preferred supplier and basically as we were not a national company, they would not use us. 

“I live close enough to the school and watch various companies deliver tools and equipment to the site, of which none were locally sourced. 

“You say in your letter and I quote ‘I know you share my passion for Westbury and the surrounding areas and truly believe in the importance of helping our young people achieve and succeed in life’. This is true, I try to support the community wherever I can, with such things as youth football sponsorship, boards at the Westbury Town FC, Westbury Rugby Club, the Young Peoples Awards to mention but a few.

“I have contacted Westbury Building Supplies, Timber & Allied and Ross Hillman and none of those local companies have supplied anything to the site. I would also bet that no local companies were approached to tender for the job either.  Where is the ‘Passion for Westbury’?

“I personally went to Matravers and I employ 13 staff, most of which all went to Matravers, and to supply to the site, would not have only given me a bit of pride, it would have helped support the lives of the ex-pupils, the town and local business.

“There are too many local shops and businesses closing and the town is getting worse as the years go on and its because of projects like this. 

“This also raises questions on the environment, all the traffic coming from out of town not only polluting Westbury but creating chaos on the roads unnecessarily.

“So, when I get a letter from you asking for donations, it leaves a sour taste for many reasons.  I would have happily contributed to the school based on the income I have had received from its “Multi Million Pound Investment” but as I didn’t receive any, perhaps you should be writing to all the companies that were?”

Waiting for a response from Matravers. 

One Response to “Where is the passion for Westbury?” School criticised for not using local companies

  1. David

    June 6, 2019 at 9:23 am

    Well Mr Rowe, they may of not used your local company for many reasons, and if you would of become registered on the recommended list like some other local companies that are not in your little group instead of whining then they may of used you.
    As for employing 13 people of which most went to matravers ……. I don’t think so.
    They have used some local companies, but if a national company can do a better job and cheaper then why should they use local ?
    Ok, asking for funding may be a little wrong, but top marks for trying .
    The other local schools have used local companies, but it is down to time, costings and who pays the bills.

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