Northamptonshire unitaries both select Kier

10/06/2022
Chris Ames

Both new unitary councils in Northamptonshire have awarded highways term maintenance contracts to Kier, the existing provider under current joint working arrangements.

Since April 2021, highway maintenance services in North Northamptonshire and West Northamptonshire had been delivered by KierWSP on a county-wide basis under arrangements inherited from the previous county council.

While the new arrangements will instead see the councils run their own separate contracts and services, both have appointed Kier. North Northamptonshire said this would allow for some economies of scale to take place through sharing some administrative functions and contract management roles.

It added that both councils had worked closely on the process for procuring the new contracts, which started in November 2020 and has involved several selection stages to narrow down and shortlist prospective suppliers.

Graham Lawman, executive member for highways, travel and assets, said that while the procurement process started with a blank slate and resulted in four bidders competing to win the contract, ‘Kier successfully won the procurement exercise by submitting a bid that offered the best value for money and highest quality highways service for the people of North Northants.’

He said: ‘The new contract is very much tailored towards meeting the challenges that we are currently facing and those over the coming years and we are confident that all the ingredients are in place for the delivery of the service.’

The North Northamptonshire contract is worth approximately £30m a year and is set to run for seven years, with the potential to extend for a further seven.

West Northamptonshire also valued its contract, which also operates over the same timeframe, at £30m a year, with annual spending £1m higher than the previous deal.

It said that since the formation of the council, it has lacked the flexibility required to meet its and its community’s changing priorities.

Phil Larratt, cabinet member for environment, highways, transport and waste services, said: ‘We already have a strong, established relationship with Kier which we will now build upon further and I am confident this new contract will result in better, quality highways services where our contractor takes a flexible and pragmatic approach, exercising common sense and care for the environment in what they do across West Northamptonshire.’

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