Cornwall Council and BT dispute soon to be settled


Cornwall Council and BT have a High Court date scheduled for December in order to resolve a disagreement over the termination of the BT Cornwall (BTC) contract.

The dispute follows the council’s desire to leave the strategic partnership contract, and BT’s reluctance to let this happen.

A council document has revealed an overview of events leading up to this trial, which culminated in a hearing between the two on 12th August 2015 in the High Court. There it was decided that there will be an expedited trial to determine whether the Council has the right to terminate the agreement with BT or not. This trial is scheduled to take place on 1st December 2015.

Two possible outcomes

According to the document, the trial could go one of two ways. Either the council is successful and is able to terminate the contract – as well as claim damages and legal costs from BTC – or it is unsuccessful and will not be able to end the contract “for material breach as of 20th July 2015”. According to the document, this latter outcome would mean that the contract will continue and the council would potentially have to pay BTC’s court costs.

The document added: “The Council continues to robustly monitor and manage the performance of BT Cornwall under the terms of the agreement and will continue to do so until conclusion of the trial.

Councillor speaks out

In a blog post entitled “Cornwall Council tries to pull the plug on BT Cornwall”, local councillor Andrew Wallis said of the dispute: “My views on the joint venture are well-known, and there is no reason to repeat them, or say ‘told you so’.  My concern and anger is on the stance BT Cornwall is taking by dragging Cornwall Council to court because of their failings.”

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