Cabinet to decide future of highways service
Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet will discuss the future of Suffolk’s highways services on Tuesday 8 November.
Along with all councils across the UK, Suffolk is currently facing budget pressures and a lack of certainty over future capital funding levels over the coming years. In order to protect long term service quality and resilience, it is necessary to develop a new model of service delivery.
Of three potential models that were initially put forward to Cabinet on 19 July 2011, it is now being asked to consider the procurement of a future highways service based upon the Fully Private Sector Model.
This model involves the design and delivery of all highway maintenance and improvement work lying under the responsibility of a single private sector organisation.
Services that the new organisation would be responsible for include the design and construction of highways improvements, winter maintenance, road safety education and street lighting.
If Cabinet agree the proposal, work will begin to immediately appoint of a private sector provider with a new service model in place from April 2013, when current external contracts expire.
Councillor Guy McGregor, Suffolk County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Roads and Transports said; “I am convinced that to get the best results from the money Suffolk County Council spends on road maintenance and repairs we need an integrated service, and these proposals will deliver this.
“Also important is the need to respond to local conditions, especially when there are emergencies. The input from local county councillors and town and parish councils on the delivery of the service will be enhanced. As much of highway work is carried out by local (often small scale) contractors - I will ensure that the good relations that currently exist will continue under the new arrangement.”
Subject to Cabinet agreeing the proposal, a further report is anticipated in November 2012 when approval will be sought to award the contract.