Following CECA Southern’s liaison meeting with Kent CC in June 2022, KCC have kindly provided the following update.
Good evening to you all and happy new year,
It now seems like a distant memory when we met so many of you in person at the Maidstone Village Hotel in June 2022 for the CECA event. The meeting highlighted the economic disruption that had prevailed following the pandemic and the Ukraine war combined with high inflation and labour shortages. It is no surprise that these continue to have a huge impact on the council’s budget and the future transport schemes we can deliver.
I was hopeful of providing some good news in the form of positive funding announcements before Christmas but the new Prime Minister and changes to his Cabinet has further delayed such announcements to the end of January 2023. This is obviously extremely frustrating and despite the government’s Autumn Statement the future for LA’s is still seen as unsustainable and resulted in the Leader of Hampshire County Council, Rob Humby, and the leader of KCC, Roger Gough, writing to Ministers in October to highlight this point.
We are still confident of attracting further significant funding into Kent and the attached brochure (see here) sets out our current programme with a look to the future schemes we are keen to deliver. Alongside this, for 2023, we aim to:
- Continue to review each major scheme and provide confidence in delivery. This is to make sure we have a sustainable programme which aligns with our new Strategic Statement (Framing Kent’s Future) and the new KCC Budget which will be agreed and published in February 2023.
- Continue to build relationships. We are keen to develop more long‑term collaboration. We may not have a framework but through constant engagement with yourselves we are keen to build solid, sustainable relationships. Providing a clear pipeline of work is key to this and we hope this will also make our schemes more commercially viable and attractive to you.
- Improve our early market engagement. We recognise that engagement is imperative and we are keen to be clear and transparent with our goals and outcomes. We want to maximise competition but appreciate the costs and effort that goes into bidding. Therefore the opportunities we provide must be clear so you are able to make the right commercial choices that are proportionate to the value of the schemes. Engagement is therefore key at all stages of project development to test the relevant confidence level and receive your invaluable feedback. This is particularly important for choosing the contract mechanism and to ratify the value for money appraisal and business case.
We are keen to gauge interest in the schemes we have presented so please do get in touch with your thoughts. Equally, if you no longer wish to be included in this distribution list, please let us know.
Charlie Parrott (Sent on behalf of Lee Burchill, Major Capital Programme Manager)