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ENVIRONMENT AND REGENERATION SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting held on 13th July, 2017.

 

Present:  Councillor V.J. Bailey (Chairman): Councillor M. Lloyd (Vice-Chairman); Councillors Mrs. P. Drake, V.P. Driscoll, S.T. Edwards, G. John,  Mrs. A. Moore, A.R. Robertson, Ms. S. Sivagnanam and S.T. Wiliam.

 

Also present: Councillors L. Burnett, G.A. Cox (Cabinet Member), Councillor N. Moore and L.O. Rowlands.

             

 

149     MINUTES – 

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 13th June, 2017 be approved as a correct record.

 

 

150     DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST –

 

No declarations were received.

 

 

151     CLOSURE OF ACCOUNTS 2016/17 (DEH) –

 

The report was presented to the Scrutiny Committee to advise of the provisional financial position for the Committee for the 2016/17 financial year.  Council had, on 2nd March, 2016, agreed the Authority’s budget requirement for 2016/17 and Appendix 1 to the report amended the revised budgets to take account of adjustments.  In presenting the report, the Principal Accountant referred to the various service areas advising that with regard to Visible Services and Transportation, there was a favourable variance of £45k made up of a favourable variance of £420k which had been offset by a transfer to the Visible Services reserve of £375k.  200k was to be set aside for Waste Management, £15k for Tree Strategy, £50k for purchasing new parks machinery, play equipment and improvements to parks, £10k for bus infrastructure and £100k for highways infrastructure improvements. 

 

For Waste Management and Cleansing there had been a number of adverse variances during the year totalling £109k.  Employee costs had an adverse variance of £52k mainly due to the time taken to imbed the new waste collection rounds which started in August 2016 and on the Premises budget of £8k due to a small overspend on cesspit emptying costs.  There was also an adverse variance of £49k on Supplies and Services and this was mainly due to the purchase of food waste bags to prepare for the delivery in April / May 2017 and also a slight overspend on food waste disposal.  There had been a number of favourable variances during the year totalling £110k.  Transport costs had a favourable variance of £34k, however, there were further savings to be made in 2017/18.  Income budgets had a favourable variance of £76k, mainly due to the increase in tasks undertaken for other departments and an increase in income received for recharges made to the previous operator of the Household Waste Recycling Centre.

 

Under Highways and Engineers there was a favourable variance of £273k.

 

There had been a number of adverse variances during the year totalling £250k.  Due to the favourable variances within the service, there was a reduced requirement to draw down planned funding from reserves for potholes by £90k and winter maintenance by £160k thus creating an adverse variance against the transfer from reserves budget.

 

There had been a number of favourable variances during the year totalling £523k.  £24k related to staffing budgets due to the level of vacant posts and £54k related to Transport costs, however there were additional savings required from this area in 2017/18.  There was also a favourable variance on income into the department of £360k mainly due to additional capital works being undertaken.  Repairs budgets had a favourable variance of £85k mainly due to the reduction in spend on potholes.

 

There was also a planned use of £976k from the Visible Services reserve to fund resurfacing works.

 

Transportation was showing a favourable variance of £146k and Building Services were breakeven.  The Building Services trading unit had a turnover of £5.6m and made a surplus of £8k and the Building Cleaning and Security trading unit making a deficit of £17k.  In addition the Courier Service made a surplus of £25k. 

 

The Building Services Twin Hat function had an underspend of £49k which was made up of favourable variances of £16k on transport budgets due to the ongoing aim to reduce transport costs and £33k on general supplies and services.

 

All of the above were offset by a reduction in the recharge for maintenance repairs/ Welsh Housing Quality Standards works from Building Services to the Housing Revenue Account of £25k and a transfer to the Building Services reserve of £40k of which £10k would be used for CCTV improvements, £20k to provide ongoing training across building maintenance and £10k for new software.

 

Regeneration was showing a favourable variance of £141k however, Development Management was reporting an adverse variance of £184k

 

There had been a number of adverse variances during the year totalling £352k.  Planning fee income had been low all year and had an adverse variance of £292k at year-end.  It was considered that the lack of major planning applications submitted by developers had been due to uncertainty in the development industry, caused by the vote to leave the European Union as well as recent legislative changes to the planning system, which have delayed submissions.  A planned drawdown from reserves of £19k to cover Policy staffing costs on the Local Development Plan (LDP) was not made in order to maximise the sum available for the ongoing LDP process moving forward.  There were various other small variances amounting to a net £41k adverse variance within this service.

 

There had been a number of favourable variances during the year totalling £168k.  There was a favourable variance of £34k on Building Regulation fee income as applications had once again been high in 2016/17.  Staff vacancies within the Division over the year resulted in a favourable variance of £74k and in order to mitigate the anticipated reduced income position, all non-urgent expenditure on supplies and services were held, resulting in a favourable variance of £60k.

 

There was a net transfer of £16k from the Building Control reserve for the year relating to the Trading Account.  In addition, the £93k cost of the LDP provision in 2016/17 was drawn down from the LDP reserve.

 

Attached at Appendix 2 to the report was a breakdown of the 2016/17 Capital Programme by scheme and the Principal Accountant highlighted a number of schemes as detailed in the report. 

  • Coldbrook Flood Risk Management – Slippage of £847k
  • Dimming of Street Lighting / Fitting of LED lanterns – Slippage of £544k
  • Boverton Flooding – Slippage of £266k
  • Cemetery Approach – Slippage of £214k
  • Barry Regeneration Partnership - Slippage of £259k
  • Five Mile Lane – Slippage of £305k
  • High Street / Broad Street Traffic Management – Slippage of £108k. 

Appendix 3 to the report detailed the reserves as at 31st March, 2017 that related to the Committee and the Council had currently committed funding for the “Big Fill” initiative to 31st March, 2018.  Although there was still further work to be carried out across the Vale, £500k had been transferred into the Visible Services reserve to allow the initiative to continue into 2018/19 and would be part of the Revenue Budget.  It was also proposed that £100k would be allocated to the Visible Services Fund to carry out works to the shelters at Barry Island costing £75k and to Penarth Pier with a contribution of £25k. 

 

Following a query from a Member regarding the reference to vacant school crossing patrol positions, Committee was informed that the criteria regarding the need for school crossing patrols had been agreed by Cabinet in 2015 which, when a position  became vacant criteria were applied to ascertain whether the position was still required.  Due to the installation of pedestrian crossing systems at various sites around the Vale this had led to an underspend on the staffing budget for school crossing patrols. 

 

Following a further query as to when the fitting of LED lighting would take place, Members were informed that completion was envisaged by the end of the financial year.  In order to ensure that the most appropriate lighting was installed in residential streets in the Vale, a trial was to shortly commence and once the results of that trial had been received, the lighting scheme would be rolled out. 

 

In referring to the works at Cemetery Approach, Committee was advised that the original scheme had not contained any lighting and although there was lighting at either end of the Approach, a lighting assessment had recently been undertaken to ascertain whether further lighting would be required.  The need for lighting was therefore due to be analysed together with consideration of a proposal for a community building.  Further information would subsequently be reported to Members following the analysis.

 

In conclusion, the Accountant advised that the services reporting to this Committee had achieved a balanced budget, following which the Scrutiny Committee

 

RECOMMENDED – T H A T the financial measures taken and proposed within the report be noted.

 

Reason for recommendation

 

Having considered the contents of the report and the provisional financial position and actions that had been taken.

 

 

152     REVENUE AND CAPITAL MONITORING FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL TO 31ST MAY 2017 (DEH) –

 

The position in respect of the revenue and capital expenditure for the period 1st April to 31st May, 2017 regarding revenue and capital budgets which formed the Committee’s remit were presented for the Committee’s consideration.

 

Appendix 1 to the report provided a graph and table which set out the variance between the profiled budget and actual expenditure to date.  The Principal Accountant advised of the following in respect of the various service areas:

 

Highways and Engineering – There was currently a £61k favourable variance against the profiled budget.  The main reason being reported as due to vacant posts currently within the department, however, key posts had recently been filled by Agency staff therefore it was currently projected that the budget would outturn on target.

 

Waste Management – There was currently an adverse variance of £16k to the profiled budget.  The variance to date was due to overspends on staffing and transportation costs.  The Waste Management budget had been reduced in 2017/18 for further vehicle savings however the department was unlikely to be able to achieve these in the short term due to the increased distance that had to be travelled as all waste disposal points were now situated in Cardiff.  Due to this, £200k had been set aside in the Visible Services Reserve at the end of 2016/17 to offset these pressures in 2017/18.  It was currently anticipated that the budget would outturn on target.

 

Transportation – There was currently a favourable variance of £11k against the profiled budget.  Staffing costs within the division were lower than budgeted to date. There was also a slight underspend within the supported buses budget which was assisting the current favourable position.  As it was early in the year, it was currently anticipated that this service would outturn on budget for 2017/18.

 

Visible Services Reshaping Services Savings Target – In 2017/18 there had been a savings target of £525k allocated to Visible Services from the current Reshaping Services programme.  The proposed means of achieving this saving having been approved by Cabinet on 24th April, 2017 and which was through the introduction of a new target operating model for the service.  The savings target had yet to be allocated to specific services and was being held centrally within the Visible Services budget pending the implementation of the new service model, which was anticipated to commence from September 2017 onwards.

 

Regeneration – The budget covered the Countryside, Economic Development and Tourism and Events functions and there was currently a favourable variance of £21k against the profiled budget due in the main to staff vacancy savings whilst awaiting re-appointments to be made.  At this stage it was anticipated that the service would outturn on target.

 

Development Management – There was currently a £27k favourable variance against the profiled budget for May, mostly due to staff vacancies and higher than anticipated Building Regulation fees.  As it was early in the financial year it was anticipated that this service would outturn on target.

 

Appendix 2 to the report detailed a list of savings to be achieved for 2017/18 and Appendix 3 detailed the financial progress on the Capital Programme as at 31st May, 2017.

 

Following a query regarding the meaning of the word “Vissim”, Committee was advised that this was a traffic modelling software system which simulated / modelled the movement of multi modal traffic through a junction. 

 

In referring to the £500k additional funding that had been put into the budget for resurfacing works, a Member queried the Department’s plans for the future.  The Head of Service advised that the Department really needed at least £2m per year for the road network but this level of resources was unfortunately not readily available.  Pressure was regularly being made to Welsh Government regarding options going forward as the current funding was nowhere near appropriate for the work required to maintain a good standard of highway surfacing.

 

During consideration of the report Members considered that the issue of limited resources for the maintenance of the highway network was not only an issue for the Vale of Glamorgan Council but for all Councils throughout Wales and England in that the funding was inadequate to support the road network.

 

It was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T a cross-party letter be sent in the name of the Chairman to the Welsh Government Ministers and the Welsh Local Government Association regarding the reinstatement of the Local Government Borrowing Initiative or some other method of funding to assist Local Authorities with the maintenance and repairs of the road network and Cabinet be informed accordingly..

 

(2)       T H A T the position with regard to the 2017/18 revenue and capital monitoring be noted.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To lobby Welsh Government regarding the lack of funding for the road network.

 

(2)       In order that Members are aware of the position with regard to the 2017/18 revenue and capital monitoring relevant to the Scrutiny Committee.

 

 

153     END OF YEAR (2016-17) PERFORMANCE REPORT: AN ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE AND PROSPEROUS VALE AND TARGET SETTING UPDATE FOR 2017-18 (MD) –

 

In presenting the report, the Managing Director referred to the Council’s Performance Management Framework as being the mechanism through which its key priorities and targets could be monitored and realised in order to secure continuous improvement and that the report in summary provided the end of year performance for the Corporate Plan outcome within the Committee’s remit.

 

The Managing Director also referred to the appendices to the report which drilled down further to the Corporate Plan actions.  For actions, a Green status related to a completed action or one that was on track to be completed in full by the due date.  An Amber status related to an action where there had been a minor delay but action was being taken to bring this back on track by the next quarter.  A Red status related to an action where limited progress had been made, and an explanation needed to be provided including any planned remedial action(s) and where appropriate a revised completion date.

 

The report also detailed that the performance report attached at Appendix A was structured as follows:-

 

Section 1: Outcome Summary – Provided an overall summary of performance and highlighted the main developments, achievements and challenges for the year as a whole.  It included an evaluation of the progress made against actions and performance indicators as well as corporate health (resource) impacts which supported the overall RAG status for the Well-being Outcome.

 

Section 2: Performance Snapshot – Provided an overview for each Well-being Objective, describing the status of Corporate Plan actions and performance indicators.  A RAG status was attributed to each Well-being Objective to reflect overall progress to date and contributed to the overall RAG status for the Well-being Outcome.  For ease of scrutiny, any actions / PIs attributed a Red status were presented in full there.

 

Section 3: Key Achievements and Challenges – Highlighted the key achievements and challenges to date in achieving the intended outcomes for the Well-being Outcome.

 

Section 4: Corporate Health: Use of Resources and Impact on Improvement – Provided a summary of the key issues relating to the use of resources and the impact on delivering improvement during the year.  The focus was on key aspects relating to staffing, finance, assets, ICT, customer focus and risk management.

 

Appendix 1: Provided, by Well-being Objective, detailed information relating to the Service Plan actions which had contributed to Corporate Plan actions.

 

Appendix 2: Provided detailed performance indicator information linked to each Well-being Objective which showed the Council’s planned activities, how much it had done, how well it had performed and what difference this had made.  It must be noted that new annual and quarterly reported performance indicators had been introduced as part of the Council's revised Performance Management Framework and for a number of these data would not be available as this year would be used to establish baseline performance.  A Not Available (N/A) status would be attributed to all such measures with commentary provided confirming this status.  As part of continuously seeking to improve on its approach to performance management, the Council would continue to develop its key measures within each Well-being Objective to ensure these most accurately reflected the Council’s Corporate Plan Well-being Outcomes.

 

Appendix 3: Provided additional performance indicators which contributed to the Well-being Outcome but did not form part of the Corporate Plan basket of key performance indicators.

 

An overall RAG status had been attributed to Well-being Outcome 2, “An Environmentally responsible and Prosperous Vale”, which reflected the good progress made to date towards achieving improved outcomes for residents and the Council’s customers.  At the end of year, 15 out of 19 Corporate Plan actions attributed to the Well-being Outcome had been completed, giving an overall Green performance status for actions.  Of the 19 actions, four were reporting an overall Amber status for actions.  Although positive progress had been made in regard to the actions (ER4, ER15, ER16 and ER18), minor delays had meant that these would now be carried forward into 2017/18 and would be reflected in the relevant Service Plans for 2017/18.

 

Following a query from a Member regarding the implications of a delay relating to the Council’s five year waste management plan, the Head of Service stated that the plan was due to be reported to Cabinet in the Autumn following the outcome of the pending WRAP report findings which would determine the five year strategy.  It was envisaged that a presentation would also be made to the Scrutiny Committee on the subject.

 

In referring to the cycling / walking scheme at Culverhouse to Weycock Cross, a Member queried the early indications which showed an approximate 500% increase in cycling and queried the detail of the figures.  The Head of Service advised that she would ensure that the actual figures which made up the 500% were forwarded to the Member and the Chairman of the Committee for information.

 

Following further queries as to the RAG status for Boverton, Llanmaes and Coldbrook flood schemes, the Head of Service informed the Committee that for Coldbrook, there were utility and ground condition issues.  For Boverton, the project was later on site than had initially been anticipated but works were continuing and for Llanmaes, again, the scheme was behind the original programme.

 

In referring to transport improvements at Cardiff and Barry Road, Dinas Powys, a WelTAG Stage 1 study was due to be presented to Cabinet shortly with a further Stage 2 WelTAG study needing to be being commissioned to take the project to the next stage. 

 

In response to a further query regarding the Merrie Harrier junction, the officer could advise that funding had been successful for further consideration of a cycling / walking route from the Biglis roundabout to Dinas Powys.  The money for this year was specifically related to progressing matters relating to land acquisition. 

 

Having considered the report, it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the performance results and progress towards achieving key outcomes in line with the Corporate Plan Well-being Outcome 2: “The Vale of Glamorgan was a strong and sustainable economy and the local environment is safeguarded for present and future generations” be noted.

 

(2)       T H A T the proposed targets for 2017/18 aligned to the Well-being Outcome 2 priorities be endorsed.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To ensure effective assessment of performance.

 

(2)       To ensure relevant sets of performance indicators are reported.

 

 

154     ACTIVE TRAVEL (DEH) –

 

The Head of Visible Services and Transport commenced by advising that in September 2014 the Welsh Government had introduced the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 which had been reported to Cabinet on 3rd November, 2014.  The Act made a legal requirement for Local Authorities in Wales to map and plan for suitable routes for Active Travel within certain settlements as specified by Welsh Government.

 

The Existing Route Maps were approved by Welsh Government on 12th August, 2016.  The next stage of the process was to produce Integrated Network Maps.  Committee was informed that the Act required two maps to be produced, the Existing Route Maps and the Integrated Network Maps.  The Existing Route Maps show the routes within the designated areas that were suitable and appropriate for making Active Travel journeys.  These routes could be on road, shared, segregated, or traffic-free.  They could be for walkers or cyclists, or both.  They would also show crossing points and the facilities that existed to support Active Travel on these routes, including cycle shelters / parking / storage and public toilets.  The Existing Route Maps needed to be accompanied by a statement of the extent to which routes do not meet the standards set out in the Design Guidance. 

 

The criteria that Active Travel routes had to meet was extremely high and did not reflect the Council's own maintenance standards, or that of the standards that Councils were legally bound to consider when carrying out risk assessments on walked routes to school.  Therefore, a route that was deemed available as an appropriate walking route to school, in accordance with the Learner Travel Wales Measure, may not meet the criteria as an Active Travel Route.  Likewise, the Council had its own standards for roads or footways when deciding whether they required maintenance works to be carried out. Hence, the routes for Active Travel reflected Welsh Government's aspirations for providing new facilities, but were all heavily dependent on available funding to deliver such routes. 

 

The routes were assessed using a scoring mechanism with exception statements that could be used to allow a route to be an Active Travel route without it meeting all of the criteria in the Guidance.  Each route had to be assessed separately, which was a long and resource intensive process.  The scoring pass rate to enable a route to be considered an Active Travel route for both walking and cycling was 70%.

 

In line with Welsh Government requirements, a three month consultation process with the public on the proposed maps commenced on Monday, 12th June, 2017; closing date 15th September, 2017.  The consultation process would allow for other routes to be put forward which had not been considered by the Council.  Cabinet agreed to consult with the Council's Environment and Regeneration Scrutiny Committee, Community Liaison Committee and the Youth Cabinet as part of the formal consultation process.  The results of the consultation process and the final proposed Active Travel maps would then be presented to a meeting of the Council's Cabinet in the Autumn 2017.  This was the only way the Council could meet the consultation requirements set by Welsh Government and meet the deadline of 3rd November, 2017.

 

The Head of Service reiterated that the Active Travel proposed routes and maps were out for consultation, with comments being made by 15th September, 2017 with a view to report back to Cabinet and, if feasible, Scrutiny Committee before November 2017 following all the consultation events taking place.  The Head of Service urged Members to consider the routes and to make any comments, proposals, suggested changes during the consultation process, copies of the route maps being available at the meeting for Members’ consideration.  The main issue for the Department was the ability to attract funding for the various routes with the need to be creative.  In recognising that funding usually came in bite size chunks, it was likened to completing a jigsaw, however, Welsh Government criteria had to be followed.  There was a concern that the consultation would raise expectations, but the Council had to secure the funding before any work could be undertaken.

 

A Member raised issues in relation to the Dinas Powys routes in noting that many of the routes that were listed were, in their view, impossible to complete.  The Head of Service, in response, advised that it was imperative that local responses were provided to the Department as, in most cases, local people knew their area well and could detail the potential problems envisaged.  It was the Council’s Active Travel plan, but it was important that local constituents provided feedback as it was a Vale of Glamorgan plan.

 

A Member also referred to the lack of advertising in the Dinas Powys area for the recent consultation undertaken with the Head of Service advising that she had provided a press release which the press had not picked up, social media had also been widely used, but for the future, a paid advert would be arranged.  However, she urged all Members to relay the message that consultation was still ongoing and would not close until 15th September, 2017. 

 

Some Members referred to a number of cycle paths which did not appear to be used by cyclists for reasons being that many of the routes were non-continuous and many cyclists actually cycled on the road.  The Head of Service reassured Members that a number of cycle interest groups were party to the consultation and had already fed back.  It was essential, she stated, that feedback be provided in order to further any proposals.  Usage was also assessed by way of counters to see how many cyclists actually used the network. 

 

The Chairman urged all Members to respond to the consultation by the deadline date, following which it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the draft Active Travel maps as noted at the web link http://www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/en/our_council/consultation/Active-Travel.aspx  be endorsed.

 

(2)       T H A T the way forward as set out in the report, including the commencement of the formal consultation on the draft Integrated Network Maps that started on Monday, 12th June will conclude on 15th September, 2017, be noted.

 

(3)       T H A T a further report be presented to Members in Autumn 2017 outlining the results of the consultation process and to consider the submission of the final Integrated Network Maps to Welsh Government by 3rd November, 2017.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       To update Members on the progress made in accordance with the criteria for Active Travel walking and cycling routes.

 

(2)       To enable the Council to fulfil its legal obligations within the specified timescale and to ensure that Members are consulted, their views considered and that Welsh Government deadlines are met.

 

(3)       To allow Members to consider the results of the consultation process and approve the final maps before 3rd November, 2017

 

           

155     HIGHWAY RESURFACING THREE YEAR PLAN 2017 TO 2020 (DEH) –

 

The Committee was pleased to receive the report as it had been requested within its work programme, with the Head of Visible Services and Transport highlighting that the local highway network within the Vale of Glamorgan was a valuable asset to the community for which the Council was responsible.  The way it was managed and maintained had a direct impact on residents, businesses and visitors who used it on a daily basis. 

 

The Highway Maintenance Three Year Resurfacing Plan was attached at Appendix A to the report and identified carriageways requiring treatment to prevent further surface and structural deterioration.  The carriageways listed within the Plan for “surfacing” (page 2 of Appendix A) had been assessed in accordance with a “Carriageway Resurfacing Prioritisation Scoring System” which was attached at Appendix B.

 

The “Carriageway Resurfacing Prioritisation Scoring System” identified several criteria and data factors which enabled a score to be derived and the prioritised Three Year Plan for surfacing works to be established.  Surfacing works were more costly and this form of treatment generally related to major and heavily trafficked routes.

 

Delivery of the Plan was dependent on receiving appropriate funding.  Roads that would receive surfacing works in the financial year would be selected from the prioritised list.  Committee noted that the roads scoring 390 had been prioritised for surfacing this year.  All the routes on the list required attention, however with the limited funding available, it was suggested that remaining funds be utilised to undertake the other forms of treatment identified.  One of the benefits of doing this was that a greater length of highway could be treated.  Those roads on the surfacing list which would not receive works in the year due to budget constraints would automatically follow through into the following year's Plan.  The Highway Maintenance Three Year Resurfacing Plan was reviewed annually.

 

Based on the estimates shown, there was insufficient funding available to complete all the routes indicated on the micro asphalt and surface dressing lists, however officers would seek to undertake as much of this work as was possible, with any routes not addressed moving to the programme for 2018 / 2019.

 

The Highway Maintenance Three Year Resurfacing Plan provided the foundation for delivering a well-maintained and managed highway infrastructure.  It ensured levels of service were optimised and that the highway infrastructure asset was managed wherever practicable, in the most efficient manner to meet the expectations of all highway users.

 

It was noted that there was currently no road maintenance grant funding available from the Welsh Government and that the funding available to deliver the programme of resurfacing works would be taken from the Council’s capital budgets.  It had been requested that £500k from the 2018/19 budget be brought forward to the 2017/18 capital budget to enable works to be undertaken as soon as possible.  This would provide a total budget of £1.3m for 2017/18 against an estimated total cost of £3.683m for the full Three Year Programme.

 

The Head of Service advised Members that the delivery of the Plan depended very much upon funding and, as outlined above, the roads to be resurfaced were selected from a priority list.  Surface dressing works had already been done to date, taking advantage of the recent good weather and the contractors’ programme. 

 

Following a query as to whether Members were notified when works were being undertaken in their area, the Head of Service’s response was that Members would be notified when works requiring Road Traffic Orders were required.

 

Following queries regarding the scoring system, the Head of Service advised that this was an established scoring system used generally for resurfacing, with the request that the complete scoring matrix be made available to the next meeting of the Committee.  In response, the Head of Service advised that although she could bring the details to Committee, she was unsure as to how informative the information would be bearing in mind its factual and contained engineering detail. 

 

In referring to car parks and how they fitted into the resurfacing scheme, the Head of Service stated that if there were particular instances where Members knew there were issues, that they be reported to the Department for investigation.

 

Councillor L. Burnett, (not a member of the Committee) with permission to speak, referred to the road classifications and the scoring system, in particular noting that a tremendous amount of roads were scored at 390 but which she stated did not actually meet the criteria.  Her concern was whether the matrix was the right one going forward and urged the Committee to receive more information in relation to how the scores were applied and in particular to whether they had been applied correctly.  The Head of Service stated that amendments to priorities of roads being changed would reflect on others being placed lower down the list and that it was important to consider the professional engineer’s advice in view of potential for insurance claims.

 

The Cabinet Member’s main concern was the need to ensure that the scoring system was used and that Members’ undue influence was not placed on officers.

 

Councillor N. Moore, (not a Member of the Committee) with permission to speak, also reiterated that he did not understand how some of the roads could achieve the 390 scoring and he urged the Committee to receive details of the scoring system used.  He also referred to the alphabetical list noted in the programme and suggested that a priority assessment be introduced.  Councillor Moore further queried a number of statistics, particularly the A48 Pentre Meyrick and a number of surface dressing works, in particular the paintball area reported as £27k but which was now £27,900, advising that there were three references in the report to the same function. 

 

Councillor Moore agreed to email the areas in question for consideration to the Head of Service.

 

In conclusion, the Head of Service advised that it was important that the road works identified in the programme commence in order that some of the routes could be delivered.

 

All Members agreed that it was a difficult task for the service area in view of the limited resources, but that it was important that all Members understood the Resurfacing Plan and the resurfacing treatments and as such it was subsequently.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T arrangements be made for site visits to be undertaken by the Committee, prior to the next meeting on 14th September, 2017, to a number of stretches of road in the Vale and that a presentation on resurfacing be provided to the Committee at the meeting on 14th September, 2017 to include details of the science behind the scoring system used.

 

(2)       T H A T, notwithstanding Recommendation (1) above, the highways resurfacing works detailed in the report planned for 2017-2020 be noted.

 

(3)       T H A T, the report detailing the highways resurfacing works planned for 2017-2020 be referred to Cabinet.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In order that Members can be apprised of the road network within the Vale and the scoring mechanism used to address the situation.

 

(2)       In order that the necessary works can be completed as planned and to apprise Members.

 

(3)       In order that Cabinet can consider the Highway resurfacing works planned for 2017 to 2020.

 

 

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