AN EXPERIENCED builder claims he has been left on the verge of financial ruin by Kirklees Council.
David Irving, who has run Irving Construction for the last 20 years, said the council was refusing to pay him thousands of pounds for work he carried out on a house in Dalton.
Mr Irving, of Dryclough Road in Beaumont Park, said: “I’m finished if I don’t get this money, I’m out of business.
“I’m going to have to try to find this money from somewhere to pay the bank. It has destroyed me.”
Mr Irving, 41, was privately contracted by a householder in June to carry out £60,000 of work, including a two-storey extension and a conservatory, to a house at Ridgeway.
The owner was entitled to council grant funding because some of the work was for alterations to make it disabled-friendly, including a downstairs bathroom and toilet and disabled access.
Mr Irving said he was told 50% of the total cost would come to him from the council.
At the start of the project, he was given £25,000 by the owner and £10,000 by the council.
He later requested a further £10,000 payment from the council, but was told only £5,000 could be authorised at that time, which he said he would accept.
The work ran into problems in August, when the council raised concerns over changes in the plans’ specifications, but Mr Irving was told the problems were resolved and the work continued.
By the end of that month, he had still not received the £5,000, so he contacted the council.
He said: “I was told the changes to the work had not been agreed and I wouldn’t be getting paid.
“Then I was told the grant money would only pay for 50% of the disability changes – not 50% of the whole thing. We were under the impression it was a straight 50-50 split.
“I blame Kirklees for the simple fact they didn’t issue a full schedule of works at the beginning.
“The client changed some things, but that doesn’t alter the fact that we have done more value of works than we have been paid for.”
He said he was now £7,000 out of pocket and was planning to lodge an official complaint.
He said: “This is the first time we have done any work for Kirklees Council and the first time we have not been paid for work.
“We always get on and do our job, do it well and always get paid. I’ve never been in a situation like this before. It’s ridiculous.”
The council would not answer questions about the matter. A spokeswoman said: “We are in contact with Mr Irving regarding this.”