Brighton Council shares maintenance resources with local company

Article image - Brighton Council shares maintenance resources with local company Brighton Council and Stornoway Maintenance have formally agreed to share resources to maintain roads across the municipality. (l–r) Brighton Council’s Danny Cleaver with Council’s General Manager Ron Sanderson, Stornoway’s Bob Brown, Adam Wilson of Brighton Council and Tim Gardner of Stornoway.

In what is considered to be a first for Tasmania, Brighton Council is working with a local organisation to share plant, equipment and labour. The arrangement is enabling greater efficiency in the delivery of road construction and maintenance, while also saving ratepayers money.

Located in the southeast of Tasmania, Brighton covers 168 square kilometres and has a population of 15,000 people.

With 47 staff, approximately 18 in the works department, Council proactively entered into a trial Mutual Resourcing Agreement with Stornoway Maintenance in 2008.

Following its success, a formal agreement was put in place last July.

Stornoway is a local company that undertakes maintenance works on the Midland Highway and other roadsides, and has recently diversified into work for Hydro Tasmania and other maintenance tasks.

Brighton’s Manager Business Services, Adam Wilson, said the resource sharing program aims to create a single pool of resources that supports the delivery of Council’s municipal works program, while giving Stornoway an enlarged pool of expertise and equipment to draw from in delivering its own contracts.

“Both organisations were experiencing the common difficulties of accessing skilled labour, underutilisation of equipment and seasonal workload variations,” he said.

“Council’s workload, for example, is typically varied throughout the year, with increased pressures during the summer months for road construction, resealing, mowing and so forth.

“Council wanted to ensure it had a core number of staff within its works department throughout the year to ensure that routine maintenance and emergency works could be carried out at any time, while also having the capacity to undertake major capital works as required during the year.”

Adam Wilson said Council had been leasing half of its works depot to Stornoway Maintenance for a number of years, so it made sense to engage in a wider partnership that would benefit both organisations.

“Not only do we now share plant and equipment, but Stornoway participates in our training exercises in areas such as chainsaw use and OH&S, and staff from both organisations have become more flexible and multiskilled.

“Under the agreement, we now have access to the resources of both organisations, as well as manpower when and as required.”

Stornoway CEO Tim Gardner said the agreement had immediate benefits.

“Knowing that we could work in with Council to help deliver their works program has allowed us to employ and train up more people,” he said.

“At the same time, we can quote work for other clients knowing we can draw upon Brighton’s capabilities and resources.”

Brighton Council General Manager Ron Sanderson said the agreement is about finding innovative approaches to managing resourcing levels through a time of change for Local Government.

“This model allows us to keep control of our maintenance works, while improving use of experienced staff and specialist plant and equipment,” he said.

The scope of the services in the mutual resourcing program include asset inspection and reporting, project supervision, maintenance works programming, routine maintenance works delivery, minor capital works delivery and emergency response requirements.

For further information contact Adam Wilson on 0427 590 015.