December 5 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Norfolk County Council bosses today announced that Woking-based infrastructure and business services group Mouchel has been awarded a £60m highways design and professional services contract.
Mouchel is an international infrastructure and business services group proving advisory, design, project delivery and managed services associated with infrastructure and business services across the highways and transportation, local government, emergency services, property and utilities markets worldwide. The group has more than 6,500 people based in the UK, Middle East and Australia, a number of UK offices and a turnover of more than £500m.
County Hall said the seven year deal - which could be extended annually beyond that for up to 12 years - could save Norfolk taxpayers £1m a year.
Mouchel beat off two other firms to secure the deal, including current provider Mott MacDonald, which along with May Gurney had previously worked with the council in a strategic partnership to deliver highways services from design work to repairs and maintenance.
However, May Gurney, which has since been taken over by the Kier Group, had already lost the maintenance contract, which has since been awarded to Lafarge Tarmac.
Both new contracts are set to start from April 2014.
The council said key commitments from Mouchel include:
* Access to a wide pool of specialist resource and industry expertise (Mouchel has 6,000 UK-based staff)
* Support for Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) training in Norfolk schools
* An annual apprenticeship/training programme, to provide local opportunities for employment and training
* A strong focus on performance and generating more efficient ways of working to minimise project costs
* Bringing learning from other national contracts including funding opportunities for projects in Norfolk.
The contract is worth between £30m and £60m if it runs for the full 12 years, depending upon the amount of work undertaken. The contract could save Norfolk taxpayers £1m a year, adding to the savings of up to £4.4m a year from the works contract, which was awarded to Lafarge Tarmac in July. Both contracts run from April 2014.
David Harrison, cabinet member for environment, transport, development & waste, said: “Mouchel’s proposal was the best of three very strong bids, and follows on from the recent award of the works contract to Lafarge Tarmac. We are confident that Mouchel’s wide experience will ensure that Norfolk continues to benefits from highways design and professional services of the highest standard, and we are particularly pleased with their commitment to work with schools, and support for apprenticeships, which is a high priority for the County Council.”
Steve Morphew, cabinet member for finance, corporate and personnel, said: “This represents a good deal for Norfolk taxpayers, and for all road users. Our roads and our budgets are under relentless pressure, so securing the services a company with an international reputation, and at the same time delivering significant savings for the council, is exactly what we need.”
Mouchel Infrastructure Services managing director David Virden said: “We are delighted that Norfolk County Council has chosen Mouchel to work with them for this long-term partnership contract. The award emphasises the strength we have in aligning our services with the needs of our clients. Our strength in-depth was important – we are offering a strong locally-based core team supplemented by a vast range of technical, environmental and project expertise focused on delivering the council’s objectives.”
Norfolk’s highways network includes 9,800km (6,000 miles) of county roads, 4,100km of footways, and 2,000 bridges and other structures. It excludes trunk roads (A11, A12, A47) which are the responsibility of the national Highways Agency.
The procurement was conducted using a ‘competitive dialogue’ process. This involved short-listing to three bidders and then conducting an intensive dialogue about possible solutions before inviting final tenders. The award of the contract was confirmed on October 15.