Cumbria County Council is to bring contractor Amey highways maintenance staff back in-house when its contract comes to an end in 2012 in an attempt to gain more direct control over its works.
The majority of the staff will transfer back to the county council in April following a decision by the council’s cabinet not to extend Amey’s contract beyond its 31 March end date — it began in 2005. At that point, the in-house team will be responsible for delivering surfacing works, grounds and street lighting maintenance and running the Windermere Ferry and Jubilee Bridge in Barrow.
Larger and more specialist projects will be delivered through framework contracts, which Amey could be eligible to compete for.
The cabinet’s decision in January was followed by another one in February which confirmed that core services including repairing pot holes and other reactive maintenance, gritting roads, and drainage and gully maintenance would be done in-house.
“We are working closely in partnership with Amey to manage this transition and minimise any uncertainty staff may have in terms of what will happen next year when the contract ends,” said Cumbria cabinet member for highways councellor Tony Markley. “The latest cabinet decision extends that rationale to a broader range of service areas, while still maintaining the ability to contract out large jobs and specialist tasks to private sector contractors. For us, that’s the best of both worlds.”
“We’re extremely proud of the work we’ve done across the region during our seven year contract, working in partnership throughout with Cumbria County Council, to make significant improvements to the highway network for the benefit of local communities,” said Amey business director Stephen Munro.