Highland Council Signs New Deal To Save Millions
20th April 2017
Mears signs new cost savings deal on PPP Highland schools project.
Mears has signed a new deal with the Highland Council which will see millions of pounds saved over the lifetime of the Private Public Partnership (PPP) Highland Schools Project.
The company entered into a 30-year contract with Alpha Schools (Highlands) and the council to carry out Total Facilities Management services on 10 new schools which were opened in 2007.
With 20 years remaining on the project, the targeted cost reduction measures are set to deliver substantial savings to the council, without compromising the quality of the services being delivered by Mears.
Highland is the largest local authority area in the UK and the wide geographical spread of the schools requires Mears to implement innovative methods of planning and service delivery.
Mears uses local sub-contractors to assist in the delivery of the works. Many schools also have facilities which are open to the public and act as community hubs - such as libraries, swimming pools, leisure centres, arts centres, adult education centres and offices.
The agreement ensures the continued satisfactory operation and maintenance of each site with a set of additional agreements that safeguards the Highland Council's financial risk in any given year.
Tony Smith, Mears managing director of facilities management, said: "We are delighted that our excellent working relationship with the Highland Council has enabled us to identify improvements and deliver further savings for the partnership. We understand the financial pressures local authorities are under and we work hard to deliver innovative services.
“Our Highland Schools contract challenges our team to deliver a comprehensive service, incorporating highly specialist works, in an environment which demands the highest safety and compliance standards.
“To put into perspective how comprehensive our service is, Mears maintains and is responsible for everything within each of the 10 school buildings apart from the actual teaching of students and academic support services. We think of it as providing facilities which allow education to excel."
Brian Porter, head of resources for care and learning within the Highland Council, added: “The improvements and cost savings in this new deal are significant and are the results of our close working partnership with Mears and Alpha Schools (Highlands). To date, Mears has delivered excellent services for us that are both safe and innovative – we view them not as a contractor, but as a long-term business partner and stakeholder.”
Bill Fernie, chairman of the Resources committee and Budget Leader said, "The council will continue to try and get the best value from the money we spend and long-term this latest contract helps us to make savings easing other areas within the budget spend each year."
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The Highland Council's People Committee has agreed membership of the Council's new Adult Services Development and Scrutiny Sub-Committee. The Adult Services Development and Scrutiny Sub-Committee will ensure specific consideration is given to the delivery of adult social care services, as part of an integrated approach to all community care services, and will oversee on behalf of the People Committee, the commissioning of social care services for adults from NHS Highland.
The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Spatial Plan (PFOW MSP) has won the Excellence in Plan Making Practice category at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2017. The awards were held in London on 15 June.
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Members of The Highland Council's Places Committee have today (Thursday 15 June 2017) agreed proposals to transfer the Highland Council Ranger service to High Life Highland. The Council's Ranger Service is one of the largest local authority ranger services in Scotland with staff running many events and guided to raise awareness and encourage the appreciation of the scenery, wildlife and heritage of the Highlands.
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Welfare Support provided by The Highland Council helped customers to a record financial gain of £4.651 million over the past year (2016-17). Over this period, the Welfare Support team supported 1,560 customers to maximise their benefits.
The Highland Council is pleased to introduce the third, iteration draft Gaelic Language Plan 2017-2022 which is being submitted for a 6 week public consultation. The Highland Council draft Gaelic Language Plan has been prepared as a statutory document for submission to Bòrd na Gàidhlig in response to the formal notice of requirement to prepare a Gaelic Language Plan and with regard to the requirements set out in Section 3 of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.
People living in the Highlands who are thinking of a career change to Primary teaching are being urged by The Highland Council to consider a distance learning course (DLITE) with the University of Aberdeen. Training for the Postgraduate Diploma in Primary Education DLITE (Distance Learning ITE) starts on 20 January 2018 and the deadline for applications is 21 August 2017.
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