Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES): 11TH OCTOBER, 2011
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 21ST SEPTEMBER, 2011
“C1440 FIVE MILE LANE HIGHWAY IMPROVEMENT SCHEME UPDATE (VBS) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -
Members were informed of progress on the above Scheme, details pertaining to the expenditure and activities on the project to date being contained within the report as summarised below:
· In 2007/08 the Council submitted a bid for funding in the sum of £325k. and subsequently received up to £250k. as a Principal Road Grant from WAG to advance the Scheme. £160k. of the funding was utilised.
· In 2008/09, £890k. of funding was bid for and provided by WAG, only £49k. being spent. ARUP Consultants had been commissioned by the Council to include the Five Mile Lane traffic study as part of a wider study but the data did not become available until July 2009. Other commissions were, however, undertaken to gather ecological and environmental data.
· Whilst a bid for £765k. was made for the financial year 2009/10, only £235k. was allocated to continue with ecological studies, environmental investigations and options appraisal for further improvements at Five Mile Lane. The in-house design team also developed a number of potential highway alignment options with side road accesses. An Interim Scheme Assessment Report (ISAR) was drafted for consideration by the Statutory Environmental Bodies (SEB) for their early comments on the proposed alignment assessments which would in turn inform the Stage 2 Environmental Assessment Studies and detailed design thus reducing any abortive work. The SEBs commented positively on the depth and breadth of the studies undertaken to date and a number of minor additional studies were identified which would be valuable if completed prior to the ISAR being finalised and a Stage 2 Environmental Assessment Brief being prepared. The total expenditure for 2009/10 was approximately £169k.
· The bid for 2010/11 was £495k. of which £400k. was subsequently approved by WAG. The grant approval contained the additional condition that the scheme development should follow the requirements of the WeITAG process and, to comply with that requirement, a number of additional activities had to be programmed and commissioned during the year. Expenditure totalled £196k.
Members were then informed that despite numerous contact, no indication yet been received from the Welsh Government as to future funding for the Scheme, including requests for further clarification as recently as June 2011. The Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources) had expressed concern in February 2011 with the progress on the project and the potential loss of WG grant. It was noted that the funding made available by WG on a year by year basis was often significantly less than the amount bid for. As a consequence the schedule of work to be undertaken had to be amended to reflect the available budget and that, coupled with significant delays in receiving the critical traffic data report meant that the Scheme had not progressed during the 2007/08 to 2010/11 financial years as originally planned. The amount of potential funding awarded but not utilised amounted to £1,158,000. The £574,000 which had been currently spent and funded to the Council by WG would not be required to be repaid even if the Scheme did not ultimately proceed.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the progress made on the Five Mile Lane Highway Improvement Scheme to date be noted.
(2) T H A T the report be forwarded to the Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources).
Reasons for decisions
(1) For information.
(2) To comply with a request from the Scrutiny Committee for a progress report on the project.”
Attached as Appendix - Report to Cabinet: 21st September 2011