22 April 2022
Work on shaping an innovative new highways service for West Northamptonshire is nearing completion, with the Council on course to appoint its new contractor next month.
At their meeting on Tuesday, 3 May, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet members will be updated on the final stages of an 18-month process to obtain a new supplier for the service, which includes things like maintaining local roads and footpaths and their signage and drainage, repairing potholes and winter gritting.
Highways maintenance is currently delivered Northamptonshire-wide under arrangements inherited from the previous county council and the new plans will instead see WNC and neighbouring North Northamptonshire Council (NNC) run their own separate contracts and services.
The final three bidders have now submitted their tenders for the West Northants contract which, at approximately £30m a year, will be one of the highest value awarded by the Council and is set to run for seven years, with the potential to extend to a maximum of 14 years.
At the forefront of the Council’s priorities is to appoint a contractor that will not only achieve greater value for money but work innovatively, tackle climate change, communicate effectively with the public and add social value, such as things that will collectively benefit the wider community.
Cllr Phil Larratt, WNC’s Cabinet Member for environment, transport, highways & waste, said: “Maintaining our local roads is one of the largest, most essential services we provide to the public so it’s absolutely crucial that we shape and award a contract that delivers upon our priorities for making future improvements.
"We’ve considered and placed the needs of our residents at the heart of this procurement process, whilst also balancing the desire for high quality services alongside the future cost of this.
"It’s important that our new highways partner also shares our vision for a more sustainable West Northants and works with us to protect and improve our environment, economy and society for future generations.
"It’s been a long, technical and often complicated process but I’m really pleased that we’re now nearing contract completion, with a view to the new service being in place from this autumn."
WNC has worked closely with NNC on the process for procuring the new highways contracts, which started in November 2020 and has involved several selection stages to narrow down and shortlist prospective suppliers.
At their meeting next week WNC Cabinet members will consider whether to delegate authority to award the contract to the Council’s Executive Directors for Place and Finance, in consultation with the Cabinet Members for Highways and Finance.
The meeting takes place on Tuesday, 3 May from 6pm at the Forum in Towcester and can be viewed live on the Council’s Youtube channel.