Beds, Herts & Bucks

Milton Keynes Council offers £200m road maintenance contract

Eight firms have been invited to bid for a contract, worth up to £200m, to maintain Milton Keynes' roads, bridges and street lighting, the council says.

The single ten-year contract is set to replace about 50 external ones currently in place, by April 2014.

Milton Keynes Council said it would "modernise" highways services and be "better value for money".

George Harlock, who has raised concerns about bridge safety, said it was "hard to say" if it would improve matters.

The council said the contract would also replace a small amount of work performed by other council departments.

Councillor John Bint said: "We can deliver better highways maintenance services at lower cost to Milton Keynes residents by using one carefully chosen contractor than the current arrangements involving some 50 suppliers, all on different contracts.

"This is an important milestone in the process towards better services and better value."

'Big concern'

George Harlock, who said he was sacked after raising concerns about the safety of bridges in Milton Keynes, won an industrial tribunal for wrongful dismissal in February.

He had lost his job as a bridge inspector for Mouchel, which did bridge maintenance for the council.

Mr Harlock said: "It is hard to say if this will be an improvement or not.

"My big concern is it is all very well to talk about a £200m contract but this council does not have a good reputation for value for money."

Companies have until 5 August to submit their tenders, with the contract due to be awarded in January 2014.

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