WORK starts this week on repairs to one of Sheffield’s most familiar landmarks - the Town Hall clock.
The £20,000 project will take around three weeks to complete and cost almost £19,000.
But questions have been asked about why the council is continuing to use the same company to maintain the clock since it was installed in Victorian times - without going out to tender to ensure their quote is the best value for money.
Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, leader of the opposition Lib Dem group, said: “It seems like an eyewatering amount of money for Labour to spend at a time when vital front line services are feeling the squeeze.
“Most local people won’t understand why the work is needed as the clock seems to be working fine.
“Regardless of if you think the work should be done or not, one of the things that concerns me is that the council didn’t go out for tender with the contract.
“Without asking, how do we know if another company could have done the same job for a lot less money?”
Sheffield Council said the repairs to the clock on the tower above the junction of Fargate, Surrey Street and Pinstone Street, were deemed necessary after a health and safety inspection found harsh winter weather had damaged the clock face.
Potts of Leeds was the firm which originally manufactured and installed the clock in 1896.
A Sheffield Council spokesman said: “Potts are an internationally recognized specialist in this field and we feel they have always offered us an excellent service.”