To provide the Corporate Director for Growth, Environment and Transport with delegated authority to procure and enter into appropriate contractual arrangements for the provision of Emergency Tree Works, including any potential extension periods in accordance with the expectations set out in the report.
The Council has a legal duty to keep roads and pavements clear of vegetation for safe passage of highway users. The main service areas comprise of clearing felled trees, most notable in adverse weather conditions. These services will need to be commissioned externally to ensure the Council meets its obligations.
The contract period is proposed to be three years with an opportunity to extend this for up to three further years. Any decision to extend the contract will be linked to performance and contract compliance.
The proposed Highway Emergency Tree Works Contract is to enable the procurement and delivery of emergency response specialist tree surgery teams to attend at short notice on a 24/7 basis. Emergency type response times will include a 2-hour and 24-hour requirement. Suppliers will be required to provide suitably qualified staff and have access to the necessary specialised equipment to be able to remove fallen trees and branches from causing an obstruction to the highway.
There is no programmed works and work volumes are dictated by the weather and where emergency situations occur. This varies from year to year and is largely dependent on the prevailing weather and storm events.
To enable delivery across the county the following lots are being sought:
• Lot 1 (West) - Maidstone, Dartford, Gravesham, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge & Malling, and Tunbridge Wells
• Lot 2 (East) - Ashford, Swale, Canterbury, Thanet, Dover, and Folkestone and Hythe
Decision type: Key
Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;
Decision status: For Determination
Division affected: (All Division);
Notice of proposed decision first published: 23/08/2021
Decision due: Not before 21st Sep 2021 by Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
Lead member: Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
Financial implications: It is expected that any new procurement and delivery model will present a price increase which reflects changes in market prices since the contract was let in 2015. A competitive procurement process will appoint the best value contractor from the tenders submitted. The overall costs for this contract are going up with the increase in severe weather events and diseases such as Ash Die back becoming more prevalent. These factors have contributed to the average cost of the contract rising from £75k/pa in 2016 to £376k/pa in 2020. There is no programmed works, and work volumes are dictated by the weather and where emergency situations occur. This varies from year to year and is largely dependent on the prevailing weather and storm events.
Legal implications: The Council has a legal duty to keep roads and pavements clear of vegetation for safe passage of highway users. The award of any contracts will be in full compliance with all relevant procurement regulation.
Equalities implications: An Equalities Impact Assessment has been carried out and no implications have been identified at this early stage.