The Service Management Centre concept has already won Somerset Highways Partnership its next big deal - a five year highways services contract with Gloucestershire County Council (GCC).
The contract (extendable to 10 years) was awarded shortly before Christmas and has an annual value of at least £30M to Atkins. Like the Somerset deal it integrates professional highway management services with the operation and maintenance of the county road network. And like Somerset, the Service Management Centre will play a central role. Indeed, the two systems for the neighbouring counties could eventually be linked, providing even more scope for efficiency savings.
'We will introduce the centre in Gloucestershire, ' says Burr. 'The system has been purposely designed to allow Somerset and Gloucestershire to connect, should the counties wish to politically.' Indeed, it may not be long before the system catches on across the country - many other authorities have been down to take a look for themselves, says Burr.