Millions of pounds of roadworks in Sheffield could potentially be carried out by a single contractor after a waiver was agreed for another year.
The decision means roadworks which are not part of Sheffield Council’s Streets Ahead contract will not need to be put out to a competitive tender’, as usually happens, but can be undertaken by the same contractor Amey.
Amey is carrying out the major Streets Ahead project to resurface Sheffield’s pothole-ridden roads, upgrade street lights and pavements.
Documents before the council’s cabinet said the estimated value for additions to the highways programme totalled £7.5m up until March 2016.
They described the deal as a ‘new procurement strategy’ but the cabinet heard it was not a new strategy and did not mean the council had to exclusively use Amey.
Ben Curran, cabinet member for finance and resources, said it was used in cases where Amey was already carrying out Streets Ahead work and additional works were required.
He said it did necessarily mean that the £7.5m of work would be carried out by Amey alone.
Coun Curran added: “This is largely used in cases where Streets Ahead are going in to a neighbourhood and someone wants to put an extra crossing in.
“So rather than having to have a big procurement exercise and make sure the companies can do it to a certain standard we can ask Amey, who are there doing other work anyway, can you put in a new crossing. It makes things simpler.”
Coun Curran said the waiver had been used since Streets Ahead began in 2012 and was reviewed annually but it ‘doesn’t preclude us from going elsewhere’.
He added: “There are examples of where Amey hasn’t been used – we still do market test value for money.”
But two cycling infrastructure schemes costing more than £200,000 will be competitively tendered.