HEREFORDSHIRE Council will not renew its contract with highway and parks partner Amey, it was announced this morning.

The local authority said a 12 month tendering process will now begin ahead of the Amey contract ending next summer.

The new company would be involved in various projects, possibly including the much-talked-about city bypass.

Geoff Hughes, the Council’s director for places and communities, said the authority wants to provide the best value for money, adding there is nothing stopping Amey from applying for the new contract.

“We have a very open mind,” he said.

“This is a big contract. It is about providing the best value for money. But, in the meantime, it is business as usual with Amey.”

The current contract began in 2003 with Amey taking over from Jarvis three years later. The company’s contract remit includes highways, rights of way, building services and ancillary roles such as catering and printing.

Staff at the council and Amey were told of the news this morning.

Council leader, Councillor John Jarvis, said the Amey partnership had been successful.

“We would like to thank Amey for its continued commitment to service delivery.

“This has been a productive relationship for the county which has over recent years seen substantial investment in maintaining and improving the county’s infrastructure.”

Amey chief executive Mel Ewell said the company wants to continue working with the council and will "actively engage with the forthcoming procurement process".

More in next week’s Hereford Times.