Balfour Beatty Living Places has been awarded a £200m contract to carry out public-realm services for Herefordshire Council.
The 10-year contract, which starts in September, includes highways maintenance and improvement, street lighting, traffic signals, street cleaning, parks and public rights of way, fleet maintenance and professional consultancy services.
The international infrastructure company will take over 300 members of staff from current contractor Amey LG under TUPE rules and will deliver most of the services in-house.
Mobilisation director Kunle Kolaru is currently assessing how the work will be delivered. He explained that although both contracts are different, Balfour Beatty will operate its contract with the same number of staff, "topping up" with contract labour from local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during times of seasonal demand.
"It's very early days. We are assessing the skill set of the transferring staff, we are speaking to the local supply chain and we engaged with local SMEs through the bid process," said Kolaru.
"We are speaking to the incumbent about who they may have used and the Herefordshire Council SME chain. We have some national agreements but try and use local suppliers." He added that it is too early to say what percentage of the contract is grounds maintenance.
"I think we were successful because of our competitive process," said Kolaru. "We listened to what the council wanted and our objectives tied in very well with Herefordshire's strategic objectives - and our delivery mechanism suited what Herefordshire wanted."
Kolaru pointed out that his company chooses contracts on which to bid very carefully. "They have to be a strategic fit for us where we can provide value for money and are outcome-focused," he added. "We only target those contracts where we feel that we can make a difference."
Contractor and client looking forward to working together
"We are thrilled to have been awarded the public-realm services contract and look forward to working with the council. We intend to make sure the services are delivered sustainably, efficiently and effectively throughout the community."
Amanda Fisher, managing director, Balfour Beatty Living Places
"Balfour Beatty is committed to bringing improvements and investment to the county and we look forward to working with them to ensure that residents are receiving value for money and better services."
Geoff Hughes, director for places and communities, Herefordshire Council