Oxfordshire firefighters on standby to deliver meals

Firefighters have been put on standby to deliver school meals in Oxfordshire, following the collapse of service provider Carillion.

The firm is to go into liquidation after losing money on big contracts and running up huge debts.

Oxfordshire County Council is to take over services provided by Carillion, including meal provision in 90 schools.

The authority said the fire service had been ready to deliver meals on Monday, but had not needed to.

Property director Alexandra Bailey earlier said 250 school catering and cleaning staff employed by Carillion should come to work as normal.

 She said the council would ensure the staff were paid.

Oxfordshire County Council signed a 10-year contract with Carillion in 2012 to provide a range of services including property management and building new schools.

All of the contracts were due to have transferred back to the council by the end of March because of the authority's "changing property and estate needs", the council said.

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