Issue details

24/00043 - Road Asset Renewal Contract

Proposed decision:

 

APPROVE the procurement and contract award of a zero value Road Asset Renewal contract;

 

DELEGATE authority to the Director of Highways and Transportation, to take relevant actions to facilitate the required procurement activity;

DELEGATE authority to the Director of Highways and Transportation, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, to take relevant actions, including but not limited to, awarding, finalising the terms of and entering into the relevant contracts or other legal agreements, as necessary, to implement the decision; and

 

DELEGATE authority to the Director of Highways and Transportation, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, to award extensions of the contract in accordance with the extension clauses within the contract (5 years + up to 5 years extension).

 

Reason:

 

Our 5,400 road network in Kent has a replacement value of £10.2 billion. It plays a vital part in delivering council objectives set out in Framing Kent’s Future by enabling safe and reliable journeys around and through the county. Our roads support social wellbeing and economic prosperity. They are essential for emergency services to execute their work: policing, healthcare, fire, and emergency response provision all require an effective highway network. These services are a key part of a functioning society which cannot exist without well-maintained and well-managed roads.

 

Our current approach to road maintenance is set out in our Highways Asset Management Plan for 2021/22 to 2025/26 (HAMP) which was formally adopted and published in July 2021. The majority of road spend is on planned data-driven maintenance to prevent potholes and surface defects occurring in the first place, a key principle of asset management.  This includes £20-25m per annum being spent on road asset renewal.

 

The current contract with GW Highways that delivers this work expires in December 2024 and cannot be extended. To deliver this service from 2025, to fulfil KCC’s duties under the Highways Act 1980, KCC requires a new road asset renewals contract.

 

A report is to be presented to the Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee on 21 May 2024 to detail the procurement process for the provision of this service through a single multi-year contract.

 

Options:

 

That KCC commissions a single supplier contract to provide road asset renewal services for an initial period of five years with extensions up to a further five years.

 

Do nothing.

We have ruled out other approaches as they would not achieve the right conditions to maximise best value whilst maintaining quality standards.  They would also not encourage and maximise materials innovation and cost effective investment in plant and equipment to contribute to carbon reduction.

Financial Implications:

There are no financial risks to the Council from developing this zero-value contract, as the Council is only required to pay for work after it has been delivered.  There is also no guarantee of work under the proposed contract.

 

The anticipate expenditure over the initial five year period may be in the region of £20-25m per annum, based on the historic spend through the current contract. Should the extension period of up to five years be taken (ten years in total), we estimate a similar level of expenditure continuing, though there is uncertainty around government capital grants moving forwards.  Road maintenance works are funded through a combination of those DfT grants and KCC capital borrowing.

 

In establishing the zero value contract, Kent County Council does not commit in any way to awarding any volume or value of works to the appointed contractor. This will allow flexibility where services required may be affected by KCC budgetary pressures and uncertainty around internal and external funding.

 

 

 

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;

Decision status: For Determination

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 01/05/2024

Decision due: Not before 30th May 2024 by Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport
Reason: To allow 28 day notice period required under Exeuctive Decision regulations

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport

Lead director: Haroona Chughtai

Contact: Alan Casson, Strategic Asset Manager 03000 413563 Email: alan.casson@kent.gov.uk Tel: 01622 221896.

Legal implications: These will be described in the report to the Cabinet Committee, but there are no specific legal implications expected. The award of any contracts will be in full compliance with all relevant procurement regulations.

Equalities implications: An EqIA for has been completed.

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