The Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP) has received the backing of the new government.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has seen a new Minister (Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough) appointed, the return of some familiar faces (Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill and Devizes MP Claire Perry) and changes in their respective responsibilities. Patrick McLoughlin has kept his place as transport secretary.
For HMEP, Ministers have confirmed their continued support for the Programme, as part of a wider drive to better support efficiencies in the public sector and where appropriate, link this to funding.
HMEP is a £6 million, DfT funded and sector led transformation programme. It connects networks from across the highways sector and provides the tools and resources to ignite ideas and help leaders and managers to transform delivery of roads and services through greater efficiencies. Last year programme manager Haydn Davies confirmed that £500,000 had been earmarked for 2015/16 so that a move to self-sufficiency could be completed.
HMEP advocate Steve Kent told Highways Magazine: “Continuity is often cited as being a key factor in delivering efficient and effective public services, so the highways maintenance sector must be relieved to learn that the DfT will continue, post-election, under the same Ministerial leadership. One early outcome of this is confirmation that HMEP will continue to be supported through its transition from a departmental initiative to a sector-owned efficiency programme, linked with increased certainty that an element of future central maintenance funding will be strongly linked with asset management and the efficiency agenda. The promise of continuing pressure on local authority revenue resources, allied to the need to deliver an increased capital programme, means that a consistent and comprehensive approach to efficient delivery is more important than ever.”
A new highways maintenance efficiency award that is supported by HMEP will be up for grabs at this year’s Highways Magazine Excellence Awards. The award is open to all authorities in the highways sector, regardless of their level of engagement with HMEP. You can enter here.