Ringway to roll out parish stewards in £75m Wiltshire contract


Ringway has begun its highways contract for Wiltshire Council, which is worth £15m annually and will see locally-based ‘parish stewards’ carrying out minor repairs.

Under the contract, which will run for five years with a possible two-year extension, the company is responsible for roads maintenance, street lights and pavements, clearing drains, gritting roads and emergency repairs.

Four parish stewards and four new vans

Highway services are being implemented in phases over the next six months.  A spokesperson for the company told Transport Network that services under the contract are being provided, although some are yet to reach full capacity.

A key feature of the contract is a parish steward programme, under which 20 parish stewards employed by Ringway will work with communities to carry out local minor highways work. This includes 20 new vans, which will be rolled out across the county over the next six months.

The stewards will serve their own group of parish and town councils, reporting issues and carrying out repairs and maintenance, providing a ‘one stop and done’ service. Their remit could include painting railings, highways strimming and minor pothole repairs.

Ringway chief executive Scott Wardrop said: ‘Our re-invigoration of the parish steward service for Wiltshire, which was a key aspect to our successful tender bid, has already begun and we look forward to an official launch of the new service in late summer 2016.

‘We are working with the council to review the highway service, ensuring it is efficient and effective for the highway users while affordable. We have secured a new main office and depot in Bowerhill, Melksham and this means we have a good modern central facility for the highway service in Wiltshire, which supports team working.’

Ringway previously held successive highway maintenance contract with Wiltshire between 1999 and 2013. The intervening contract with Balfour Beatty Living Places was terminated early ‘by mutual agreement’.

Philip Whitehead, cabinet member responsible for highways, said: ‘Wiltshire is one of only a few councils that has increased its spending on highway maintenance. With the increased investment and this new contract the council will be best placed to meet the future challenges and able to maximise the benefits of its resources for our highways.’

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