2008, when MGWSP became the highway service provider for Northamptonshire County Council, we introduced Area Based Working to meet the needs of the communities and to offer a more tailored approach to our work and maintenance service.
We are now over four years into the contract, which has evolved and improved with the introduction of new ways of working and new initiatives. As part of this we feel that the best way forward is to now work with three areas.
From Monday the 18th June Northamptonshire was divided into three main areas:
Area 1 – Wellingborough, Corby and East Northamptonshire – based in Rushden
Area 2 – Daventry and Kettering- based in Brixworth
Area 3 – Northampton Borough and South Northamptonshire – based in Towcester
This change will bring additional benefits to the way we work, whilst continuing to offer good coverage. As part of Project SAINT we have been looking at depot rationalisation and the way we can better serve communities and areas. This change will mean that each of the depots, Rushden, Towcester and Brixworth, will house an area team and provide a more balanced approach. It also means that much needed accommodation is freed up for the future integration..
Additionally we have been keen to address career progression within our workforce and offer better opportunities. To do this we have introduced senior and junior technicians roles to create opportunities for people to progress and enhance their knowledge and skills.
The Benefits of Area Structure
- Improved service delivery
- Deliver services at local level
- Staff have defined roles and responsibilities
- Greater accountability
- Ability to respond to future changes and challenges
- Accessibility for the public and parish reps
- ‘One stop shop’ for the majority of services
- Ownership of the areas
- Improved value for money
- Better career and training opportunities
Overseeing each of the areas will be a Community Liaison Officer, whose work will focus on identifying which projects would best serve the communities they represent.
Working within the county council’s Local Transport Plan, the officer will work with key partners and stakeholders to instigate projects and, where necessary, secure funding.
The community liaison officers will be developing strong relationships with the local community in their area of operation, providing a dedicated local contact, giving assistance and advice on all aspects of transport and highways issues.
Working with the community liaison officers will be an Area Manager, who will project manage programmes of work in their areas, along with planned and reactive maintenance and improvement and capital works to highways.
Community Stewards will report to the area managers and be responsible for overseeing reactive highways maintenance and small-scale issues in their areas.