Upper Hutt Leader
The Hutt City and Upper Hutt City Councils appear to be moving ever closer together.
The Hutt Valley Services Committee, which has representatives from both councils, last week discussed how to co-ordinate parks and roading contracts.
HCC has merged most of the work in these two areas into three large 10-year contracts.
In contrast, UHCC has numerous small contracts, mostly for three-year terms, and believes that smaller contracts provide a number of advantages. Not only do smaller Upper Hutt contractors get the chance to tender, there is also better competitiveness.
UHCC parks manager Brett Latimer said it had operated one large contract for mowing services. The council was unhappy with the standard of service and when the contract was broken into three, it got better service at a cheaper price.
HCC parks manager Bruce Hodgins said the 10-year contracts give the contractors greater certainty.
Contractors prefer to invest in plant and equipment, with the knowledge the contract is a long one. In the long term, the 10-year contracts work best, he said.
Both officers indicated the two councils are increasingly working together and looking at further opportunities for shared efficiencies.
HCC is looking at how it can include a variation to its existing contracts, so they can also cover Upper Hutt.
Mr Latimer said that most of Upper Hutt's 20 relevant contracts end in 2013 and there is the potential to merge with the HCC contracts.
Asked by Councillor Pat Christianson whether the two councils could work together in the area of parks and reserves, Mr Hodgins said that is clearly where the two councils are heading.
UHCC is already working with HCC and the Wellington City Council to maintain its artificial playing turf on Maidstone Park.
The councils are likely to adopt similar standards and charges for their sports grounds, Mr Hodgins said. He predicted the councils will also begin taking a regional approach to the provision of sports grounds and facilities, in order to avoid duplication.
Lower Hutt mayor Ray Wallace asked what impact bigger and merged contracts would have.
Mr Hodgins predicted it would lead to improved services for ratepayers.
Upper Hutt, Hutt City and Wellington City are moving to a regional approach for civil defence.
- Upper Hutt Leader
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