Almost 100 Sheffield Streets Ahead workers to be made redundant - with more job cuts planned

Sheffield Streets Ahead workers have been warned about planned redundancies.
Sheffield Streets Ahead workers have been warned about planned redundancies.
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Almost 100 workers upgrading Sheffield's streets as part of a £2bn road improvement programme are to lose their jobs at the start of next year - with further redundancies planned.

Contractor Amey has told 111 workers in its street-lighting team that their jobs are at risk of redundancy, with about 90 jobs set to go in January.

A road in Carbrook illuminated by the new Streets Ahead LED lights

A road in Carbrook illuminated by the new Streets Ahead LED lights

Officials say they are due to finish upgrading 68,000 street lights across the city with new LED technology by the end of 2017 as part of its PFI contract with Sheffield Council.

Amey said the job cuts in the street-lighting team are coming about ahead of the 25-year-long Streets Ahead scheme moving from its initial phase of upgrading the city's roads and lighting to the less-intensive second stage of maintaining them.

The company has confirmed further redundancies are set to take place among its teams who have been resurfacing roads and footpaths as part of the same project.

An Amey spokesman said the precise number of jobs to be lost from other departments is yet to be confirmed, but decisions will be made before the end of 2017 when the contract moves into its maintenance phase.

Details have been revealed after a source told The Star many of the affected workers facing redundancy previously worked for Sheffield Council and were transferred across to Amey when the Streets Ahead contract began in 2012.

"There are people who have been with the council for 35 years," they said.

The source claimed staff had been told as many as 500 jobs could be at risk across the Streets Ahead programme.

Amey said that a reduction in the number of employees working on the Streets Ahead contract 'has always been anticipated when the transition phase was reached and forms part of the original contract'.

An spokesman said: “Streets Ahead is a 25 year-long project which commenced in 2012.

"The first five years to the end of 2017 see the most intense period of activity, upgrading and bringing the roads in Sheffield up to an acceptable standard.

"By this time, which marks the end of the initial investment period, we will have resurfaced over 1,180 miles of road, 2,050 miles of pavement and upgraded 68,000 street lights to new LED technology.

"Thereafter we will maintain the roads at a high standard for the remaining 20 years of the contract.

“As we transition into this new maintenance period next year, we require a smaller workforce and different skills to deliver the work effectively.

"We are therefore consulting with a number of employees who may be affected by these changes.

"We are committed to supporting our employees through the changes and minimising potential redundancies where possible."

Councillor Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for environment at Sheffield Council said: “Public services will not be affected by changes to the Streets Ahead workforce in Sheffield.

"We are reaching the end of the Core Investment Programme period - the first five years where most of the major work is completed.

"The proposed reduction in staff reflects the anticipated reduction in work required to bring our roads up to standard. Additional staff were taken on to deliver the huge amount of work during this five year period so it is to be expected that reductions would be made as it nears its end.

“Service standards will remain in place throughout the contract, with staffing numbers at the right level to ensure Sheffield’s highways are maintained effectively. Upgrading work to highways throughout the city are expected to be complete by the end of next year as planned.”