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Council digs up £450k for new JCBs

Created on 12/10/2016 @ 08:23
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New JCB equipment that will be used for highway maintenance works across Powys has been purchased by the county council.

A capital investment of almost £450,000 has seen the cash strapped council purchase JCB equipment including skid steers loaders with various attachments as well as mini excavators and ride-on rollers.  Each plant item also has its own Ifor Williams trailer.

The equipment will be used by the council’s highways team for routine maintenance works including patching, sweeping, ditching and drainage works.

The investment is part of the council’s plant and vehicle review project, which has been ongoing for the last 14 months. A detailed review of essential plant equipment and vehicle requirements, as well as the way the council carries out routine highway maintenance works, has taken place as part of the project.

The project has seen the council auction off old plant equipment that was no longer fit-for-purpose. The money made from the auction of the old equipment has been re-invested into the new assets.

The outcome of the review also led to the council reducing its need of hiring in plant equipment to carry out highways work.

Cllr John Brunt, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “The council has to reduce its spending by £29.8m over the next three financial years. This means we need to look at how we provide services and see if they can be delivered differently to meet these savings.

“In the past, we have relied on hiring plant equipment to carry out highway works and this has not been a cost-effective use of our budget.

“By purchasing this equipment as part of a capital investment, not only are we providing the right tools to our staff to carry out the work and improve our highway maintenance service, we are reducing our reliance on using hire equipment, which can be very expensive.

“All of the new plant assets have had satellite tracking equipment installed so that we can get high-quality data to our highways managers so we can ensure they are being utilised fully.

“This is a positive spend-to-save initiative which will help the council meet its savings targets.”

PICTURE: Cllr John Brunt (third from right) and members of the council's highways team are pictured with the new JCB equipment.

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