THE contract deadline for ASR to carry out remedial work on the Boscombe Surf Reef expires tomorrow – with no sign, as yet, of the firm coming back.

The firm built the £3million surfing reef but the project has been dogged by problems and many councillors want nothing more to do with them.

The council said yesterday it paid ASR £120,000 for replacement bags for the reef last year but they are in storage.

Cllr Ann Rey, leader of the Independent group said: “I’m not surprised they bought new bags because nothing about the reef surprises me any more. But the time has come to stop throwing good money after bad.

“The whole situation is appalling. There’s no prospect of ASR coming back and the money has been wasted.”

Boscombe’s Cllr Chris Wake-field said: “Any money that we have invested in the reef we need to spend but there should be no further investment.

“Any money left over afterwards should go into the rejuvenation of Boscombe.”

ASR is also still being pursued for around £70,000 by three contractors for work carried out last year.

Jeff Noakes, from Force Dredging Systems, said: “We are waiting for ASR to return to the UK and we will slap them with a debt order on any money that they owe.”

The Echo emailed ASR staff with questions on Monday but had not received any reply by Tuesday afternoon.

The firm has previously claimed it does not owe the contractors money.

ASR was due to lay new bags by May 31 because the reef was only hitting four out of the 11 performance targets.

The council also wanted ASR to lay new bags to replace those damaged by a reported boat strike.

Mark Smith, the council’s director of tourism said: “We are focusing our efforts on the insurance claim for the original lost container, known as C4, and our priority is to agree a financial settlement with our insurers. “Only once the position with the insurance claim is clarified will we make a decision on contractual issues and the relationship with ASR.”

He added the reef had made a proven contribution to rejuvenating the seafront.

The figures

Bournemouth Council said yesterday it had paid ASR £105,000 of the original £150,000 held back for performance.

It has also paid ASR £60,000 from the £196,000 insurance payout for one of the damaged bags. ASR used the money to buy £120,000 worth of geotextile containers, which are now in the council’s ownership, and undertook repair works to containers C6 and C7. The remaining budget allocated to the Surf Reef is £176,000, with the insurance claim for bag C4 still outstanding.

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