THE GMB union has welcomed a council’s decision to bring a £5m highways services contract back in-house.

Redcar and Cleveland Council chose not to renew the contract it has with Carillion as it said it believed the service could be delivered more cost effectively.

The contract started in 2004 and staff will be transferred back to the council's employment on April 1 this year.

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Chris Jukes, GMB regional organiser, said "The taking back in house of this important service is good news.

“In an area that has suffered from significant job loss in key sectors, the fact that the council has chosen to try and get better value for local people by in house provision has to be welcomed.

“Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have made the right decision and at the same time ensured high quality service provision throughout the locality."

Councillor Helen McLuckie, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “The council will be running the service in-house from Friday April 1, as this way the service can be delivered more cost-effectively.

“We are currently consulting with staff and trade unions regarding this decision.”