New highways contract brings yearly savings of £1m

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THREE neighbouring councils have joined together to sign a highways contract that it is hoped will bring joint savings of £1 million a year.

Warwickshire County Council, Solihull Council and Coventry City Council have undergone a procurement process that sees them jointly employ the contractor Balfour Beatty for their highways work.

The Councils have the ability to use the contract to provide:

• routine and planned highways work eg. pot hole repairs, resurfacing, building new roads • street lighting • bridge maintenance • traffic projects, such as calming, zebra crossings, junction realignments • winter maintenance • drainage works

The contract will cover around 5,400km of roads, and create savings of £1m each year.

Councillor Peter Butlin, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways and Transport, said: “The highways maintenance contract delivers one of our core services and its performance is incredibly important to residents and businesses.

“By agreeing a highways contract as three-way partnership, we will be able to deliver far better value for money to the taxpayer. As neighbours, it makes perfect sense for Warwickshire, Coventry and Solihull to join up and deliver a more efficient service through collaborative working.”

Councillor Ted Richards, Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways at Solihull Council said: “This partnership demonstrates how, by working together, local authorities can achieve the best possible services for their residents and at the same time, bring in savings to the council taxpayer.”

Coventry will also benefit by the extra skills available in bridge maintenance outlined in their works programme.

Councillor Lindsley Harvard, Cabinet Member for City Services at Coventry City Council, said: “It makes sense in the current climate for us to work together and, using our bulk buying power, to maximise on expenditure. Balfours will provide specialist and top-up services whilst working alongside our workforce.”

Terry Woodhouse, Managing Director, Balfour Beatty Living Places, added: “Balfour Beatty Living Places is delighted to be working with Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council in this innovative, first of its kind contract. We are dedicated to delivering an effective, efficient, sustainable and customer focused highways service for the whole area.”

The agreement comes into effect in 2013, with the new contractor working from a base in each area.