The ‘Teckal’ company created by North Yorkshire County Council has appointed Highways columnist and industry stalwart Martin Duffy as its chair.
NY Highways said Mr Duffy brings with him 40 years of experience in the industry, having started his career in the highways sector in local government in the 1980s.
During the past 20 years, he has held high-profile roles in the private sector, including as director of Keir Highways and joint owner of his own consultancy, D2M2. Since 2020, he has been chief executive of the Local Council Roads Innovation Group.
He also has previous experience with a Teckal company, having been involved in the business case for the first one in the UK for Cornwall Council.
NY Highways said his ‘wide-ranging role’ as its chair will see him supporting and challenging the company and working with the board to set its policy and goals and to ensure it runs effectively and efficiently.
Mr Duffy said: ‘I am really excited about getting my teeth stuck into this and starting to get the message out there about North Yorkshire Highways. I will be doing my very best to make sure the market knows exactly what we are doing and I am very proud to be able to play my part in it.
‘Creating this Teckal and having local government officers deliver that service is absolutely on the money. I think other local authorities will find it easier to use our service, which is public sector-based. But we have to get our foundations right. We have to be competitive, we have to do a job as good as anyone in the private sector could deliver.
‘I am confident we can position North Yorkshire Highways as a credible player across the public and private sector.’
Karl Battersby, the council’s corporate director for business and environmental services, said: ‘Martin brings a wealth of experience to the role. We are pleased to have him join us at the start of an exciting new chapter for our highways services in North Yorkshire.
‘What we are doing is unique. No other highways Teckal business has been created after highways services were outsourced by a council. We are attracting attention from national professional bodies, to see how this can be done successfully. What we achieve can become a template for other local authorities.’
The company was set up by the county council as a Teckal company to provide highway maintenance services that were previously run through a private sector contract.
NY Highways described a Teckal company as ‘one that benefits from contracts for works, services or supply from its controlling contracting authority without having to go through a competitive tender process’.