West Northants Council (WNC) is working together with Kier to deliver a new highways service with increased investment for residents across West Northants.
Work has been underway since our announcement in June to prepare for the start of the new service which will focus on increased activity in our communities across West Northamptonshire, including maintaining local roads, footpaths, signage and drainage, repairing potholes and winter gritting.
Councillors and colleagues marked the first day of the seven-year partnership, which saw Cabinet Member for environment, highways, transport and waste services at WNC, Cllr Phil Larratt, welcome colleagues as part of their induction on Monday, 12 September.
Working together, WNC and Kier have outlined fresh priorities and requirements specifically tailored towards the needs of West Northants residents. Under the new contract with Kier, the Council is increasing investment to the service by more than £1million per year and will also have greater control, increasing its own resource to manage and monitor performance, which will include clear, strong goals for improving customer focus and providing value for money.
Cllr Larratt, said: "We have a long-established working relationship with Kier. As an organisation, they have the knowledge and expertise to deliver an effective, value for money service, which meets the needs of residents across the whole of West Northamptonshire. This is especially needed during the challenging times that we are facing right now.
"As we launched this new service, specifically tailored for West Northamptonshire, I was delighted to meet colleagues as part of their induction.
"The condition of our roads, verges and signage is very important to our residents and businesses and I am confident that the services we’re delivering offer increased flexibility and improved service delivery.
"We look forward to continuing to work together over the forthcoming months and years."
Kier has set its commitment to working with the council on its sustainability goals to achieve net zero emissions by 2030, as well as increasing social value to the service to benefit the wider West Northants community and economy, such as supporting local disadvantaged groups and working with local sub-contractors.
James Birch, maintenance managing director, Kier Highways, said: "After months of preparation, we are delighted to start our works with WNC and NNC on a high.
"It brings me great pride to see our newly-branded PPE and livery out on the roads and in the community - to deliver a positive impact from day one.
"We are committed to supporting the local economy by prioritising local suppliers and SMEs, and providing exciting career opportunities.
"We are also closely collaborating with both councils to provide sustainable solutions that reach our shared ambition of net-zero by 2030.
"We look forward to building Kier’s presence in the region further, and to demonstrate our abilities as a trusted partner of choice within the sector."
North Northants Council is also working with Kier to manage its highways services, which will lead to some cost advantages for the two authorities, as Kier will utilise some back office roles and systems across both areas.