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                                                                                                                        Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 12 May, 2014

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

Welsh Government Grant Funded Rural Integrated Transport Initiative

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To inform Cabinet that the Council has been offered a £100,000 grant from Welsh Government (WG) to pilot a rural integrated transport initiative and request approval to accept the grant.

Recommendations

1.         To accept the offer of Grant funding from WG for the Pilot Transport Project which will run until 31st March 2015.

2.         To approve installation of journey scheduling software once the most appropriate software package is agreed between Ceredigion Council, the Vale of Glamorgan Council and WG.

3.         To approve the Project Plan and costs attached at Appendices B and C to the report.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To advise WG that the Council is accepting the offer of £100 000 grant funding for the pilot transport project.

2.         In order that the pilot money can be used to purchase scheduling and journey software.

3.         To obtain Cabinet approval to spend the pilot money as proposed in Appendices B and C to the Report.

 

Background

2.         Welsh Government (WG) has offered the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Ceredigion Council a £100,000 grant each for pilot integrated transport initiatives.  The offer letter for the Vale of Glamorgan is contained at Appendix A to this Report.

3.         The main aims for the Pilot set out by WG are to identify elements of best practice in other local authorities, implement a suitable and affordable scheduling and journey booking software product, establish running costs for drivers as well as maintenance, fuel, insurance and other costs for an accessible 12 seat vehicle.

WG would like to see one vehicle carrying out combined routes for the Council, making use of new software and a new vehicle.

4.         The pilot will run until 31st March 2015 with quarterly updates being given to the Minister.

5.         A report on the project's success or otherwise will then be rolled out to authorities across Wales.

6.         The implementation of this Pilot Project will be complimentary to the work currently ongoing in respect of the future management of the Council's fleet.

Relevant Issues and Options

 

7.         The pilot project is designed to establish whether it is feasible to reduce Council transport costs and administrative efficiencies by:

Coordinating the transport for mainstream school pupils eligible for free transport, for those persons transported by social services (on contracted vehicles), for those transported to day centres (on fleet vehicles), for those wishing to gain access to exercise classes due to GP referral and creating additional community transport services.

Providing a clear and practical demonstration that coordinating transport provision provides financial benefits without undermining service quality.

 

Adopting suitable transport planning software that will allow the above to be carried out in an efficient and effective manner.

 

8.         Specific schools and services have already been identified by my officers to enter into this trial and the pilot will be operated around the Llantwit Major and Cowbridge areas.

 

9.         Currently Council Officers are discussing with the Welsh Government how the Project will be delivered.  A Draft Project Plan Gantt Chart and cost schedule are attached (Appendices B and C refer) and it is expected that the Welsh Government grant of £100,000 will allow the Vale of Glamorgan Council to :

 

Purchase a 12 seat fully adaptable/accessible bus and running costs (a Greenlinks vehicle will be used in the interim)

Purchase transport planning software, and any associated database licences and hardware and

Employ part time employed drivers to work on the pilot until 31st March 2015

 

10.      The administrative costs of setting up and running the pilot scheme will be met by the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s own budget.

 

11.      There are a number of key outcomes from the Pilot Project expected as follows:

 

Completed Project:  Full completion of the pilot as agreed with Welsh Government which provides a valid trial of the feasibility (or otherwise) of coordinating transport for various departments within the Council.

Project Report: A full assessment of the project to be compiled upon completion, summarising the project, those involved, problems encountered and solutions introduced, outcomes and benefits (both financial, environmental and operational by institution and transport).

Strategy for the Vale: Development from the trial (if successful) and associated report of a change strategy for the Vale of Glamorgan defining the benefits of wider adoption of coordinated transport and providing an assessment of resources, action and timescales required to introduce the approach across the Council.

Procedure & Process Documentation: Documentation of any new processes and procedures introduced to enable the trial and the proposed changes. It is intended that these could subsequently be used both to roll out the concept (if successful) across the Vale of Glamorgan Council and be used by other Local Authorities as a guide to undertaking similar changes.

Project Summary (Message): A brief summary of the project, its aims and benefits to be used as a communication tool (if required) by WG to raise awareness amongst other local authorities of the potential benefits of coordinating transport and to provide a template for change.

 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

12.      The Project is funded by WG up to £100 000.  It is expected that the project will deliver savings to the Council by way of using Council vehicles for multi uses.  The management time of the Operational Manager Development Services and also the Senior Transportation Officer are being offered free to the Project.  The Project software is expected to cost circa £20 000 with an annual maintenance cost.  Initially this will be met by the Project but following the completion of the Project a decision will need to be made whether to fund the software longer term.  It is expected that the funding of the software will be more than paid for by the savings in vehicle usage should the Council decide to keep the software after the pilot.  The vehicle will be branded as Greenlinks and will be used for community and other transport after the pilot has finished.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

13.      The better use of Council fleet will assist in reducing the Council's carbon footprint. 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

14.      The Grant has terms and conditions which need to be met in order for the Grant to be paid to the Council.  The Council's Financial Procedure note on grant funding must also be complied with.

Crime and Disorder Implications

15.      There are no crime and disorder implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

16.      The new vehicle will be fully accessible for those persons with mobility problems. Any literature advertising a service available to the public will be bilingual.   

Corporate/Service Objectives

17.      The pilot project has the potential to improve the quality of life and enhance the safety of residents and visitors in the Vale.  The service will also assist the Council achieve the UK Government and Welsh Government environmental and healthy living targets.

18.      The pilot project has the potential benefit to save the Council money and create a template for taking vehicle optimisation throughout the Council forward.

Policy Framework and Budget

19.      This report is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

20.      No specific Ward Member consultation has been undertaken as the report is not related to any specific wards at this time.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

21.      Economy & Environment

Background Papers

Project brief and timeline for Welsh Government

 

Contact Officer

Emma Reed Operational Manager  Tel:  01446 704673

 

Officers Consulted

Finance Support Manager

Committee Reports

ICT Support Manager (Applications)

Chief Learning Officer

Head of Business Management and Innovation

Director of Visible Services and Housing

 

 

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas Director of Development Services

 

 

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