Venue: Havering Town Hall, Main Road, Romford
Contact: Richard Cursons 01708 432430 Email: richard.cursons@oneSource.co.uk
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND ANNOUNCEMENT OF SUBSTITUTE MEMBERS
(if any) - receive.
Apologies were received from Councillor Philippa Crowder (Councillor John Crowder substituting) Councillor Keith Darvill and Councillor Sally Miller.
DISCLOSURE OF INTERESTS
Members are invited to disclose any interest in any of the items on the agenda at this point of the meeting.
Members may still disclose any interest in an item at any time prior to the consideration of the matter.
There were no disclosures of interest.
Report attached including requisition grounds and response from officers.
In accordance with paragraph 17 of the Overview and Scrutiny Rules, a requisition signed by six Members representing more than one Group (Councillors Ford, Hawthorn, Morgon, Tyler, Van den Hende and Williamson) had called in the above Key Executive Decision dated 22 April 2021.
The Director of Neighbourhoods stated that the existing contract had delivered many improvements to the reactive and planned maintenance service and that the proposed extension would give a further 3 years continuity. There were no issues with the quality and performance of the contractor.
Contract monitoring took place on a weekly and monthly basis and the timelines of the contractor did not give any cause for concern. It was clarified that the repair of potholes was not the responsibility of the contractor but the contractor (Marlborough) had assisted with the repairs backlog where necessary. Benchmarking had been undertaken when the contract was let and some £65k in social value had been accrued by the Council under the contract. An extension of the contract at this point represented better value for money and risk management.
The Cabinet Member added that an extension of the contract allowed for greater confidence in having the existing contractor during the post-Covid recovery period.
Officers advised that, whilst there was a period of up to 52 weeks to fix some defects, the aim was to complete this at an earlier stage. The contractor would also be held to the performance indicator of completing repairs correctly on 85-90% of occasions.
An annual condition survey was undertaken for roads and footways in the borough and priority was sought to be given to red rated roads in the most urgent need of repair. All roads were listed on the programme together with an explanation of why a road may have been prioritised for repair. The contract needed to be extended 12 months prior to its end date but the contractor had been advised that the period would be shorter in this instance.
It was accepted that staff off sick and shielding due to the pandemic had resulted in the transfer of more of the backlog from the Direct Services Organisation (DSO) to Marlborough. The ‘worst first’ policy was used to decide on priority of repairs but other factors were also taken into account, for example if the road condition was causing structural damage to properties. The average condition of the whole road length was used and details could be shared of how the average rating was calculated. Roads were split into sections for the undertaking of work but it would be aimed to undertake repairs to the whole road within a year.
It was accepted that some staff had left the DSO for career progression but the Council sought to keep its best staff. The recent Highways restructure would offer more opportunities to retain good staff.
Officers accepted that the Horizon system required development work. Under the restructure, the number of Area Liaison Officers would be increased from four to six. Some DSO staff ... view the full minutes text for item 3.