A Hove councillor has called for the building contractor who overcharged for council maintenance work by £300,000 to be named.
Councillor Robert Nemeth said that identifying the fraudulent sub-contractor would reduce the risk of others being conned into overpaying.
Some tradesmen have also voiced concerns that they could be the subject of unfair suspicion if the rogue building contractor remains anonymous.
He was sacked by the council’s contractor Mears after checks by Brighton and Hove City Council identified overcharging over 17 months.
Mears and the council are trying to agree how much the contractor should pay back for the work on council houses and flats.
Hove Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth said: “It is common practice to name and shame rogue traders.
“Doing so reduces the chances of this individual committing further fraudulent acts but also sends out a strong message that Brighton and Hove City Council is not a soft touch.
“I have asked for the name to be released.”
The council said that it had spoken to Sussex Police about the fraud but were advised that it was a civil not a criminal matter.
It also said that it was up to Mears to decide whether to release the name of the sub-contractor who has been sacked by the company.
The council said: “Our own in-house contract compliance team discovered overpayments were being made to one sub-contractor and has worked proactively with Mears and the council’s internal auditors to put the service back on track.
“We have taken steps to recover the overpayments owed to the council and improve the controls and inspection regime with our contractor and their sub-contractors.
“Mears provide a comprehensive responsive repairs, planned maintenance and major works service for council homes across the city under a 10-year contract.
“Around 20 per cent of the annual contract is responsive repairs and approximately 4 per cent of the annual cost relates to sub-contracted responsive repairs.
“The overcharging is isolated to a single sub-contractor working on a small proportion of responsive repairs.
“The sub-contractor involved with the overpayments no longer works with Mears and we’re now working with Mears to strengthen processes and procedures to prevent any reoccurrence.
“This includes reducing the amount of sub-contracted work (currently around 30 per cent of responsive repairs contracted work) and having a new quality assurance manager within the Mears team.
“A follow-up audit will also be carried out in the next financial year.”
LIKE WHAT WE DO? HELP US TO DO MORE OF IT BY DONATING HERE.