Nottinghamshire County Council announce money-saving changes to highway repairs system

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE County Council is to change the way it carries out highway works in a move that will save money – not only for the Council but also for members of the public – and provide a boost for local businesses.

A report recommending the changes was today WED approved by Coun Richard Jackson, County Council Cabinet member for Transport and Highways, and Coun Reg Adair, Cabinet member for Finance and Property.

This follows a decision by the County Council in June that more of its highways operations will be out-sourced and carried out by private contractors.

The main change as far as the public is concerned is that, from April next year, they will no longer have to pay the County Council when installing a dropped kerb for access outside their home. Instead, they will be able to employ their own contractor at competitive market prices, via a simple licence system.

The cost of the licence will be charged to the customer but will be less than £50 per application. Customers will still be able to obtain a quote from the County Council to do the work if they wish but the move is expected to provide around £500,000 of work for local contractors.

Other changes coming in from April 1, 2012 include:

residents in Mansfield, Ashfield and Broxtowe having a new number to call to report highways problems. The number to use will be 08449 808080. This number should be used by all Notts residents

carrying out surface dressing through an external competitive contract, which is currently out to tender. Contractors will be encouraged to employ local labour where possible

using existing external contracts to carry out all earthworks, boundary works, land reclamation works and permanent signs manufacture

using existing contracts with Tarmac and local contractors (through a frame-work arrangement) to supply 75% of the County Council’s resurfacing work.

At the same time it has been announced that the Council is developing a new highways term maintenance contract to be awarded in the autumn of 2012.

This will be a modern, cost-based contract with a single provider for up to 10 years to enable the Council to drive further efficiency savings from the delivery of its highway services.

“Key considerations in awarding this contract will be quality of service, value for money, experience of delivering local authority highway services and willingness to work alongside our in-house operations unit,” said Coun Richard Jackson, Cabinet member for Transport and Highways.

“During the tender process we will also be encouraging discussions between the tenderers and our existing local sub-contractors, labour and suppliers as we’re very keen to encourage and support local employment.”