Kettering roofing specialist awarded £23,835 in claim against North Northamptonshire Council

Robert Calder used a no win, no fee specialists to claim his money

By Alison Bagley
Friday, 25th March 2022, 7:00 am

The owner of a specialist roofing business has been awarded £23,835 by a judge at Northampton County Court in a civil case against North Northants Council (NNC).

Robert Calder, owner of Mawsley-based Kettering Asphalt Flat Roofing and Flooring Northamptonshire, took out a claim using money recovery experts DCBL's debt collection and High Court enforcement services.

In a default judgement made on February, 2, 2022, Mr Calder was awarded nearly £24,000 which was ordered to be paid within a month - a deadline that has now passed.

Mr Calder in action

A ‘default judgment’ means judgment without trial where a defendant has either failed to file an acknowledgment of service or has failed to file a defence.

The court document addressed to the defendant (NNC) said: "To the defendant. You have not replied to the claim form. It is therefore ordered that you must pay the claimant £22,700 for debt (and interest to date of judgement) and £1,135 for costs. You must pay the claimant the total of £23,835 forthwith."

A warning in the letter adds: "If you ignore this order your goods may be removed and sold, or other enforcement proceedings may be taken against you."

The letter warns that further costs 'will be added'.

Mr Calder

Mr Calder, 62, claimed the damages against North Northamptonshire Council after he says its predecessor Corby Borough Council failed to fulfil two contracts verbally agreed to him.

A mastic asphalt specialist since 1981, Mr Calder provides work on flat roofing, floors, hot bitumen for felt roofing, asphalt footpaths, driveways and repairs.

In the past he had provided repair work for councils across the area, including about 200 balconies on homes in Kettering's Weekley Glebe Road.

In 2019, after discussions with officers dealing with housing repairs, Mr Calder says he was promised two contracts worth £10,000 each.

Kettering Asphalt has been in business for more than 40 years

He said: "I was promised the work by Corby Borough Council with a contract for £10,000 for three balconies but I was told before that could happen I needed to extend my public liability insurance.

"So I extended my insurance. I was told 'you will get £10,000 for repairs and I'm going to put it as essential maintenance work'. They said "I'm going to raise an order so take out the insurance'. I spent £1,700 on insurance and they were given the insurance documents. It was all verbal."

When Covid hit all work stopped but in 2021 Mr Calder was surprised to see another contractor from Leicester had been used to repair the balconies in Welland Vale Road, Corby.

He said: "They had got another company to do nine balconies - not the three. I was down on the insurance and I was told that there would be work.

Mr Calder worked on the balconies above Corporation Street in Corby

"I wrote to the person who had promised me the work to see what was going on.

"I raised an invoice after discussion with an officer because it was practice to raise an invoice and then contacted them. I got an email saying that the planning department would get in touch."

Eventually, to recoup the lost revenue, Mr Calder contacted a debt collection and court enforcement service to put in a civil claim, a case heard at Northampton County Court.

"I've waited extra time in the hope that they could put it right. They have deliberately not given me the work. "

North Northants Council has been contacted for a comment.