Share indices in the week to 23 August 2002
Just when Jarvis thought its year could not get any worse, it has.

Having almost survived the Potters Bar rail crash, the group was last week rocked by the arrest of non-executive chairman Colin Skellett over claims surrounding an alleged £1m payment he received as head of Wessex Water.

Jarvis' share price dropped nearly 15% immediately after the news broke last Thursday. Then on Wednesday the company announced Skellett's resignation and said it had accepted it with "great regret". Despite accepting Skellett's resignation, Jarvis said it was confident he would be cleared of the allegation. Jarvis said Skellett had indicated that it was right for him to step down while the police investigation was taking place.

Skellett denies any wrongdoing and had earlier maintained that he would not need to resign. But that was not enough for Jarvis shareholders, who have endured a tough year, having seen the company's share price collapse during the fall-out from Potters Bar and fears that Jarvis may eventually be found responsible.

Non-executive director Lord McGowan has taken over from Skellett as acting chairman.

"This is the last thing Jarvis would have wanted or expected," said one analyst, with a trace of sympathy.