Balfour Beatty performance 'satisfactory', says Wiltshire Council

This Is Wiltshire: Contractor Balfour Beatty's work was brought before a scrutiny meeting Contractor Balfour Beatty's work was brought before a scrutiny meeting

An internal inquiry has found that Wiltshire Council’s troubled £250 million highways maintenance contract is performing satisfactorily but has highlighted areas for improvement.

The council’s scrutiny committee investigated the controversial contract, which attracted criticism last summer when it was taken on by Balfour Beatty Living Places.

Residents and parish councils were unhappy as verges and hedgerows went uncut, and roads were unswept with concerns raised over lack of staff and equipment.

In October Balfour Beatty said it had lost £1 million since taking on the contract, and announced job losses across its maintenance teams.

The contract was called in for scrutiny before Christmas with a full report presented on Tuesday.

It calls for greater communication between the firm and the council, along with evidence that the “most appropriate” grass cutting equipment is available, that personnel are fully trained to use it and productivity has improved.

Cllr Jeff Osborn first called for the contract to be investigated.

He said: “With a major contract like this you expect to have hiccups and you have to process through it.

“However, I do want to publically put on record a tribute to the council staff and contractors for their considerable and much-valued work in response to the recent flooding.”

Cllr Jon Thomson, cabinet member for highways, said changes to the contract will be made along with a new map to confirm which areas the council is responsible for.

He said: “There have been issues with the contract, but no-one’s going to die from grass cutting.

“There is never a right time to change from one contract to another, but imagine trying to do that now with all the flooding we’re dealing with.

“We aren’t out of this yet, and there is still a lot more work to be done.”

The committee will look again at the contract in March.

Comments (9)

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1:28pm Fri 10 Jan 14

melkshamwizard says...

hahaha best laugh so far this year,cant decide which councillor is the funniest
hahaha best laugh so far this year,cant decide which councillor is the funniest melkshamwizard
  • Score: 9

1:51pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Highways68 says...

Nothing like setting the benchmark at mediocrity, the only way is up!!
Nothing like setting the benchmark at mediocrity, the only way is up!! Highways68
  • Score: 8

3:22pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Mike Hawkins says...

When the performance is monitored by the same party that awarded the contract, with the promise to the electorate that this contract would save money and increase efficiency, is there any wonder that people are suspicious of the reports' findings?
When the performance is monitored by the same party that awarded the contract, with the promise to the electorate that this contract would save money and increase efficiency, is there any wonder that people are suspicious of the reports' findings? Mike Hawkins
  • Score: 9

4:51pm Fri 10 Jan 14

brandx says...

Having obtained a copy of the report, I consider that the G & H account glosses over some of the major issues. Perhaps this is not surprising as the report is fairly detailed and newspapers today have limited space.

My reading is that on the big jobs - complete road resurfacing, bridges, etc - Balfour Beatty performs quite well. But on the smaller jobs - grass and hedge cutting, small pot holes - that really concern local people, their performance leaves much to be desired. Requests for work are submitted but there is little or no communication as to whether and when it will be done. There are a series of recommendations as to how this must be improved.

So I would say that Balfour Beatty' performance is only partially satisfactory and improvement must be forthcoming.
Having obtained a copy of the report, I consider that the G & H account glosses over some of the major issues. Perhaps this is not surprising as the report is fairly detailed and newspapers today have limited space. My reading is that on the big jobs - complete road resurfacing, bridges, etc - Balfour Beatty performs quite well. But on the smaller jobs - grass and hedge cutting, small pot holes - that really concern local people, their performance leaves much to be desired. Requests for work are submitted but there is little or no communication as to whether and when it will be done. There are a series of recommendations as to how this must be improved. So I would say that Balfour Beatty' performance is only partially satisfactory and improvement must be forthcoming. brandx
  • Score: 5

8:41pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Room101 says...

They have to say it's maintenance contract is performing satisfactorily or it would be another thing this council has got wrong. I wish the elections would hurry up and get here. So we can get rid of these money grabbing people.
They have to say it's maintenance contract is performing satisfactorily or it would be another thing this council has got wrong. I wish the elections would hurry up and get here. So we can get rid of these money grabbing people. Room101
  • Score: 8

10:34pm Fri 10 Jan 14

politepanda says...

No matter HOW this paper and Wiltshire Council would like to INTERPRET the report - the fact is - there are improvements REQUIRED in many areas. It's the basic, bread and butter run of the mill MAINTENANCE that has the MOST impact on residents. The work in this area needs VAST improvement - in quantity AND quality. So it ISN'T satisfactory - is it?
If anything REQUIRES improvement - it's general performance CAN'T be satisfactory.
Just how stupid do they believe the public are??
When's the next election?
No matter HOW this paper and Wiltshire Council would like to INTERPRET the report - the fact is - there are improvements REQUIRED in many areas. It's the basic, bread and butter run of the mill MAINTENANCE that has the MOST impact on residents. The work in this area needs VAST improvement - in quantity AND quality. So it ISN'T satisfactory - is it? If anything REQUIRES improvement - it's general performance CAN'T be satisfactory. Just how stupid do they believe the public are?? When's the next election? politepanda
  • Score: 8

11:56am Sat 11 Jan 14

brasstacks says...

The ONLY thing that is "not satisfactory" is the way that the Conservative led Cabinet waste Tax Payers dosh..

If any Contract was "satisfactory", there would and should be the Services being provided that the "contracts" pay for..

Contracts in Witlshire ARE being decided upon by a Council Cabinet, with a Political Majority who cares ONLY about filling it's own personal pockets and fuelling its own over the top Political aspirations..

The Conservative led Cabinet has NO interest in Residents or the real Staff..

If Ms Scott and her Political Cabinet Team REALLY cared, they would NOT be cutting Staff and then giving themselves pay rises ..

Ms Scott NEEDS to spend LESS of OUR Taxes on HER "financial and legal advisors" and MORE on providing the Services that we have a Right to..
The ONLY thing that is "not satisfactory" is the way that the Conservative led Cabinet waste Tax Payers dosh.. If any Contract was "satisfactory", there would and should be the Services being provided that the "contracts" pay for.. Contracts in Witlshire ARE being decided upon by a Council Cabinet, with a Political Majority who cares ONLY about filling it's own personal pockets and fuelling its own over the top Political aspirations.. The Conservative led Cabinet has NO interest in Residents or the real Staff.. If Ms Scott and her Political Cabinet Team REALLY cared, they would NOT be cutting Staff and then giving themselves pay rises .. Ms Scott NEEDS to spend LESS of OUR Taxes on HER "financial and legal advisors" and MORE on providing the Services that we have a Right to.. brasstacks
  • Score: 11

7:38pm Wed 15 Jan 14

politepanda says...

Does anyone know why Balfour Beatty would simply drop a 110 gallon tank - FULL of red diesel - in a housing estate car park and chain it to a garden fence - less than 10 feet from the nearest house?
Does anyone know if this breaks any rules/regulations/la
ws??
The company isn't carrying out any works within that housing estate.......
Does anyone know why Balfour Beatty would simply drop a 110 gallon tank - FULL of red diesel - in a housing estate car park and chain it to a garden fence - less than 10 feet from the nearest house? Does anyone know if this breaks any rules/regulations/la ws?? The company isn't carrying out any works within that housing estate....... politepanda
  • Score: 2

4:47pm Thu 16 Jan 14

politepanda says...

politepanda wrote:
Does anyone know why Balfour Beatty would simply drop a 110 gallon tank - FULL of red diesel - in a housing estate car park and chain it to a garden fence - less than 10 feet from the nearest house?
Does anyone know if this breaks any rules/regulations/la

ws??
The company isn't carrying out any works within that housing estate.......
Seems it wasn't Balfour Beatty workers who put it there.......
[quote][p][bold]politepanda[/bold] wrote: Does anyone know why Balfour Beatty would simply drop a 110 gallon tank - FULL of red diesel - in a housing estate car park and chain it to a garden fence - less than 10 feet from the nearest house? Does anyone know if this breaks any rules/regulations/la ws?? The company isn't carrying out any works within that housing estate.......[/p][/quote]Seems it wasn't Balfour Beatty workers who put it there....... politepanda
  • Score: 0

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