The familiar FM Conway vehicles seen across Brent will soon just a memory when two new contractors take over the Borough's Highway Maintenance Contract in April. This is the thrrd of the Public Realm Environment contracts to be awarded.
For the purposes of the contract, in an arrangement that looks quite complex in terms of responsibilities, the borough has been split into two areas with O'Hara Bros Surfacing Ltd taking 'Lot 1' and G W Highways Ltd 'Lot 2':
Highways Maintenance Works contract: Planned Highways Maintenance
and Highways Schemes; Reactive Highways Maintenance including emergency call-out; and Cyclical and Reactive Gully cleansing.
Scope of Highways Maintenance Works contract Lot 1:
(i) Planned schemes and maintenance work in area 1 of the borough
(ii) Reactive repairs in the whole of the borough
(iii) Occasional planned schemes and maintenance work in the area 2 of the borough – with no guarantee that any such work will be given
Scope of Highways Maintenance Works contract Lot 2:
(i) Planned schemes and maintenance work in area 2 of the borough
(ii) Occasional reactive repairs work across the whole of the borough – with no guarantee that any such work will be given
(iii) Occasional planned schemes and maintenance work in area 1 of the borough – with no guarantee that any such work will be given
The combined contracts will be worth £78m over their 10 year duration with an initial contract period of 7 years, with further adjustments for inflation etc.
Cabinet are recommended to:
1, Approve the award of the contract “Lot 1” for the provision of Highway Maintenance Services to O’Hara Bros Surfacing Ltd for an initial contract period of seven (7) years, with an option to extend for up to a further three (3) years on an annual basis and notes that the value of the contract is estimated to be circa £4.3m per year, or circa £43m over the 10 year duration of the contract (excluding inflation indexation).
2. Approve the award of the contract “Lot 2” for the provision of Highway Maintenance Services to GW Highways Ltd for an initial contract period of Seven (7) years, with an option to extend for up to a further three (3) years on an annual basis and notes that the value of the contract is estimated to be circa £3.5m per year, or circa £35m over the 10 year duration of the contract (excluding inflation indexation).
Lot 1 represents an increase of 21% over the current Conway contract and 16% for Lot 2. Officers state that prices would have gone up anyway if Conway had continued with the contract.
Officers note an important issue (highlighted):
It should be noted that the cost for the Emergency Call Out service, included in Lot 1, has increased substantially from circa £50k per annum to an estimated £240k per annum (the figures are estimated as the total depends on the number of Call Outs incurred). With the current reactive maintenance budget, this will mean that the funding available for the repair of medium priority highway defects will be considerably reduced.
There might be some public concern that an initial 7 year contract is quite long if anything goes wrong. Officers' note:
The decision to extend the contracts will be based on the respective services being delivered to a minimum satisfactory standard, outlined in up to 12 Primary Performance Indicators and 5 Secondary Performance Indicators, covering the range of services. The PPI for gully cleansing, and the three PPIs for reactive maintenance, would not normally apply to Lot 2 as those services are not expected to be delivered via that contract.
So councillors should be interested in the extent of monitoring of the performance indicators during the 7 years and the actions that would be taken in the event on unsatisfactory performance. The performance indicators have not been published in this report.
The report notes that the Highways Consultancy Service contract that inspects highway structures, carries out site investigations and provides surveys and design services is still being worked on.
companies that applied for the contracts have not been published.
Do we trust this council to do the right thing?
Hopefully this new highways contractor will actually repair some of the dangerous local pavements and huge potholes on the roads and also repaint roadway signage.
Wembley High Road is a right mess with massive pot holes by the bus stops - really dangerous.
Brent is definitely a roads driven (many many more narrow roads) borough in terms of new 'public open spaces' policy in order to vehicle access ever more land opportunities for developers, Brent Local Plan to 2041.
For Brents many remaining public green open spaces of neglect its brownfield bit-by-bit (new road- by -road) devastation to intensify health and wellbeing inequalities- a brutal grey plan of Richmond in reverse.
Brent has had massive grey public open space infrastructure growth (many more roads) over the past 20 years. I wonder how complete the actual road maintenance data was for these contracts? Will they even be aware of this grey drains existence?
Brent is certainly public failing as regards its often demapped public green open spaces infrastructure, being especially green rights uncaring where car-free/no garden high desnsity population intensification blocks are being on public land packed-in zoned.
We fade to grey.
Community-led Bromley has designated 25 Local Green Spaces in its Local Plan.
Developer-led Brent has only ever designated 1 and that in its previous Local Plan?
South Kilburn Public Open Spaces for 2022 application was by Brent rejected, how many others across Brent?
Brent instead has spent 22 regeneration process years so far here pretending that it will green invest, enhance and expand this park to 2ha. When without strongest Local Plan LGSD protection no funding can ever arrive to deliver that.
Brent fades to public open space grey, while Bromley public open space greens- where is Brent Climate Emergency these days? Where is Brent good growth policy delivery?
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