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24Feb94 UK: SUBBIES IN CHASE FOR DOG TRACK PAYMENTS.

By Grant Prior.It's a dog's life for subcontractors at an east London greyhound track where 23 firms are owed nearly £1 million following an ambitious refurbishment scheme.And angry trade contractors have already held a 'council of war' meeting as they band together in a bid to get their money.Developer Fleetfoot Racing is spending £14 million on converting the once dilapidated Hackney track into the luxurious Embassy London Stadium.But a series of rows erupted during work at the site.Fleetfoot claims to have paid Southampton-based main contractor Walstone for work on the £5 million first phase.And the subcontractors believe Walstone is now withholding cash owed to them.Les Holbrook, managing director of Industrial Roofing Contracts, said: 'We have had cheques stopped and are owed about £50,000. They are just holding on to £1 million worth of other people's money.'A Fleetfoot spokeswoman said: 'Walstone has been paid everything due to them on the correct dates.'Walstone was originally employed to build both phases of the project. But the firm's contract was determined last week and Arnold Project Services (APS) is taking over the helm on phase two.Nobody at Walstone was available to comment this week despite repeated attempts to contact the firm's directors.It is understood that complications arose on the phase one contract when 140 variations were made between the original designs and the completed West Stand.Walstone was involved in a design and build package with designer SDIP, which has since gone into receivership.Subcontractors expressed surprise that Walstone was chosen for the job instead of a 'household name' contractor.But Fleetfoot's spokeswoman said: 'Walstone has specialist knowledge of the greyhound industry and experience of track-laying work.'We will be recommending the subcontractors that worked on phase one to APS so they can try to level out any losses.' CONSTRUCTION NEWS