An integrated approach to highways asset management has revolutionised the Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council’s highways operations. Since its inception in Jan 2010, the Highways Asset Management Integrated Service (HAMIS) project has already saved the Council around £1.2m and is expected to save over £3.5m by 2016 (exceeding the initial £2.9m savings target).
The technical keys to its success have been establishing a long term delivery programme of planned works; the introduction of the latest technology; better co-ordination with other council services that affect the highways such as drainage; new systems such as live works databases; and allocating maintenance ‘gangs’ to specific neighbourhoods.
In terms of facilitating the necessary behavioural change then establishing good communication within the new team has been vital, along with allocating roles to staff based on their strengths while ensuring that all team members know exactly how they are contributing towards achieving our joint objectives.
Overall, HAMIS demonstrates that achieving private sector efficiencies in a public sector setup is possible through an ‘insourcing’ model which has enabled all stakeholders to retain full commercial and budgetary
transparency - while avoiding TUPE transfers and any redundancies – as well ensuring maximum cashable savings for the local authority.
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