EXCLUSIVE: Chatteris town councillors face �37k court bill after failing to pay builders

TOWN councillors Chris Howes and Christine Colbert are facing a county court bill of almost �40,000 after they failed to pay builders working at their home.

The Chatteris town councillors’ company Delta Gold Ltd was ordered to pay �37,698.46 to Norwich-based construction firm Norpile Ltd this month.

The company’s builders had laid foundations for five terraced homes which the Lib Dem couple are having built in the garden of their home in Pound Lane, Chatteris.

But David Madders, director at Norpile, said he was forced to take the town councillors to Norwich County Court after they refused to pay the final invoice.

His Honour Judge Darroch issued a judgement for �14,780 plus interest against Delta Gold Ltd, of which Cllr Howes and Cllr Colbert are both directors.

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The judge also awarded Norpile costs of �20,808.60 plus interest and refused the councillors’ leave to appeal.

Mr Madders said: “I work for a living and at the end of the job they refused to pay me.

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“They are supposed to be good upstanding citizens and they made a lot of allegations about me and my business.

“They accused me of being a cowboy, not doing the job properly and misleading them but it all came back in my favour.”

Cllr Howes has spent almost 10 years on Chatteris Town Council but failed with numerous bids to win election to Fenland District Council.

His wife Cllr Colbert, who has been on the town council since 2006, said the work was completed two years ago and “costs had escalated during the course of the job”.

She said they had only disputed the final invoice and had written letters to Norpile in an attempt to resolve the issue.

Cllr Colbert said: “We are taking advice from our accountant and our solicitor.

“Chris and I feel that we have learned a lesson from this experience and we will still be completing the development in the fullness of time.”

The debt was due to be paid to Norpile on Monday but Mr Madders said no money had been received.

“We will now be seeking the money through bailiffs,” he said.

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