COLUMN: How has the bypass ended up costing so much? asks Westwell of Ely

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COLUMN: Rosemary Westwell asks ‘are we really in the Christmas spirit this year?’ - Credit: Archant

Doesn’t anybody have any money sense these days?

What with our bypass suddenly costing £13 million more than before and companies such as ‘Wellgrain’ going insolvent with ‘multi million pound debts’, one wonders what the world is coming to.

I was brought up to avoid going into debt, but if I had to take out a loan, I worked out how these debts would be covered before I took them on.

I was also encouraged to think of how I could survive if something went wrong. This is all common sense, isn’t it? Or am I just being naïve?

Whether it is an individual or a large company, surely they should be able to work in this way.

I trust a quote, rather than an estimate, had been put in for the bypass.

When a smaller firm puts in a quote, it is expected to work within that quote or pay the difference themselves.

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This should be happening with the bypass. Whoever got it wrong should be the person or firm to foot the bill.

If an expert makes a claim that they know what they are doing, they should be held to this claim.

Whoever stated how deep the piles should go for the bypass should be held to account if it has suddenly been discovered that they need to go deeper than they thought.

While we have sympathy for builders who find it difficult to work when it constantly rains and fills the ditches with water, this is one of the contingencies they should have thought of in the first place and they should have allowed for this.

Surely they must know that it sometimes rains in this region.

As for firms that suddenly have to declare themselves insolvent, something has gone wrong well before this state of affairs.

If their bean counters and debt chasers had been doing their jobs properly, it is more than likely they could have avoided giving up altogether and having to let hundreds of staff go.

If someone or a firm does not pay a bill within 28 days, they should be reminded.

I believe if they still do not pay after three months they can be charged interest on the final bill.

This should have been applied. Then if they still do not pay, further action should have been taken, even as far as going to court.

Shrugging the shoulders and giving up does not seem to be a good way of dealing with such a situation.

Our current ‘credit culture’ encourages borrowing rather than saving to get what we want. This should be changed.

Until borrowing is discouraged, we are all likely to remain in a financial mess.