Plan to outsource highways management slammed by councillors

James Harrison

Plans to radically overhaul highways management in the Royal Borough have been savaged by councillors.

Under the scheme, road maintenance, flood risk management, traffic management and other services would all be outsourced to private companies.

But after examining proposals last night (Tuesday), the Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Panel said it could not offer its support because it did not feel there had been enough consideration of legal fees to justify predicted savings.

Cllr Colin Rayner (Con, Horton and Wraysbury), the committee’s chairman and former cabinet member for highways, said he could foresee a repeat of the Stafferton Way debacle, when costs and timescales spiralled out of control, because there was insufficient detail of contracts.

“I remember in 2007 on my first day at highways,” he said, “Balfour Beatty brought in a book of contracts this thick and they stuffed us at every corner.

“I don’t want to see that again.”

Cllr Lynne Jones (Old Windsor Residents Association, Old Windsor), was also critical of the report, saying: “If you look at this paper we’ve got so many unanswered questions and they’re simple questions.

“What are the benefits? What are the risks? How are you going to mitigate those risks? It’s not there.”

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