Cabinet were asked to consider a report on the future highways service contract.
1) the proposed operating and procurement model and associated timescales in terms of the future delivery of this key service, ranked as ‘Platinum Plus’, be agreed;
2) the increase in the capacity of the existing client team to meet the needs of procuring the new contract and thereafter manage and deliver the service as proposed be noted; and
3) the new Governance arrangements and Programme which has been put in place to administer and deliver this procurement project be noted.
N Naylor, Cabinet Member for Transport Services, introduced the report and informed Members that the current highways services contract had been awarded to Ringway Jacobs in 2009. It was an 8-year contract with a possible extension of 7 years, 6 of which had already been granted. A decision has been taken not to grant the final 1-year extension and the current contract would expire on 31 March 2023. The Cabinet report and supporting appendices looked at what actions needed to be undertaken to ensure the future delivery of this key service, as the current model of delivery was not viewed as being the most appropriate to achieve the outcomes of the service and to contribute towards some of the key strategic objectives of the council. There were a number of key current limitations that were detailed in the report.
Following the financial pressures and difficulties that had been experienced by some of the major service providers in the sector, including the collapse of Carillion, having a single provider for all areas of the service was also seen as a concern that needed addressing. Approximately 30 months was required to undertake a comprehensive procurement exercise for a contract of this nature, particularly if it was proposed to alter the model considerably from the current arrangement. To enable the associated procurement exercise to be carried out, a decision was required on what operating model would best serve the council going forward.
A comprehensive analysis of the various models that were available in the market had been carried out and assessed to their appropriateness to deliver the key objectives of the Council and achieve value for money. The ranking order of these were contained within Appendix 1. Governance arrangements had been put in place for the procurement exercise with representation as shown in Appendix 2. The proposed model was a hybrid of the models that had been assessed and comprised:
- a larger in-house client team to better manage and direct the service as per Appendix 3.
- a term maintenance contractor who will be responsible for carrying out all routine maintenance on the network, comprising winter maintenance, small scale and localised pothole repairs, gulley cleaning and drainage maintenance, cyclical grass cutting, maintenance of traffic signals, signs and lines, bridges, structures, footpaths, and street lighting as well as potentially some of the capital maintenance projects.
- a term consultant, who will support the client but also have responsibility for transport planning, feasibility and business case development, design and project management of larger works and major projects.
- 2 number frameworks to provide competition and resilience:
o the first framework with 3 lots:
§ 1 for conventional surfacing and reconstruction,
§ 1 for surfacing treatments e.g. surface dressing, slurry sealing, high friction surfacing etc.
§ 1 for other minor work activities, e.g. machine lay plane and patch, footway reconstruction, drainage schemes, etc.
o and the second framework for larger capital improvements and infrastructure works.
- and ultimately all members of the above to form an alliance and operate as a single team.
Further details of the proposed model were contained in the report, with Appendices 4 and 5 including information in terms of function and description.
The model being proposed would also address the other issues and recognised concerns of the existing model. The frameworks would promote value for money through cost analysis via tested and transparent schedule of rates, assessment of performance and contract mechanisms which incentivise right first time. In addition, having a range of service providers available to the council for different areas of the service, as opposed to a single provider, would present opportunities to compare rates and performance and give more assurance and resilience in delivery of service.
In addition, the existing client team was one of, if not, the leanest in the country, and it was proposed to extend the capacity of this team. A proposed outline structure for the new client team was attached in Appendix 3. This would enable the client team to, facilitate the reprocurement of the highways services contract, manage the contractual arrangements going forward and to better influence and control the policy, levels of service, programmes of work and control of the use and occupation of the highway network. It would also enable and facilitate improved working relationships and communications with the elected members, key stakeholders including Town and Parish councils and the wider community by transferring back in-house the Local Area Technicians (LATs), the Customer Compliance Officers (CCOs) and the communications team.
Members sought additional information and were informed:
· it was envisaged that the new contract would give Members a greater ability to be able to discuss decisions and to affect minor design changes in their local area through working with area technicians.
· That the weightings afforded to different contract elements as part of the procurement / tendering process would be discussed with the Member Reference Group and brought back to Cabinet for a final decision.
· That Highways Services was very aware of the Council’s Climate Change and Air Quality Strategy and would look to address issues as part of a new contract. For example, through the use of climate friendly materials and processes, and through accompanying measures such as a Verge Management Strategy.
· That the term maintenance contractor in the new contract would be responsible for mending potholes and fixing drains. The contractor would be based in the county and operate out of local depots.
1) That the proposed operating and procurement model and associated timescales in terms of the future delivery of this key service, ranked as ‘Platinum Plus’, be agreed.
2) That the increase in the capacity of the existing client team to meet the needs of procuring the new contract and thereafter manage and deliver the service as proposed be noted.
3) That the new Governance arrangements and Programme which had been put in place to administer and deliver this procurement project be noted.
- Report for Future Highways Services Contract, item 9. PDF 926 KB
- Appendix 1 for Future Highways Services Contract, item 9. PDF 357 KB
- Appendix 2 for Future Highways Services Contract, item 9. PDF 329 KB
- Appendix 3 for Future Highways Services Contract, item 9. PDF 155 KB
- Appendix 4 for Future Highways Services Contract, item 9. PDF 172 KB
- Appendix 5 for Future Highways Services Contract, item 9. PDF 346 KB
- Appendix 6 for Future Highways Services Contract, item 9. PDF 525 KB
- Appendix 7 for Future Highways Services Contract, item 9. PDF 377 KB