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Agenda Item No.

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT): 19TH JUNE, 2012

 

SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES): 24TH JULY, 2012

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 18TH APRIL, 2012

 

 

C1699                       FUNDING ARRANGEMENTS - HIGHWAY ASSETS (VBS) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Approval was sought to utilise funding from Visible Services’ reserves to continue to address the backlog of highway repairs, and Cabinet were informed of other funding arrangements that would assist in addressing this ongoing problem.

 

It was noted that reference to Evenlode Road, Penarth on the final page of Appendix 6 to the report should read "Evenlode Avenue".

 

The backlog of highway resurfacing had almost doubled since 2009/10, despite significant spending in this area over the period.  The main cause of this had been a national under investment in highway repairs over the past 20 years, further exacerbated by the severe winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11.

 

Appendix 1 to the report detailed the funding arrangements for highway resurfacing and repairs for the period 2007/08 to 2011/12.  The total budget (Capital and Revenue) for resurfacing and road repairs stood at £2.411m. for the 2011/12 financial year.  This included an additional one off budget of £900k. made available from departmental savings last year and a capital grant of £190,840 received from the Welsh Government in December 2011.

 

Additionally, it was proposed that Cabinet agree to an additional funding amount from the Visible Services reserve of £150k. for the previous financial year 2011/12.  It was also proposed that Cabinet approve the use of £450k. in 2012/13 to ensure continuing improvement to the highway network.

 

The costs of the Three Year Highway Maintenance Resurfacing Plan had unfortunately continued to rise due to additional roads requiring attention and the pace of this deterioration being greater than that of repair.  The Plan had proved invaluable in ensuring that the relevant highways received the most appropriate forms of surface treatment and at the correct time.

 

Additionally, despite all the investment, the value of Council’s Three Year Highway Maintenance Plan had continued to increase year upon year from its inception in 2009/10 when the total stood at £2.36m.  The 2011/12 Plan now stood at a value of £4.17m.

 

As part of the Road Maintenance Grant from the Welsh Government in 2010/11, an amount of £300k. was set aside to undertake highways asset assessments across Wales. 

 

The Highways Asset Management Plan (HAMP) commenced in May 2010 with regular workshops held on an area basis working on a number of asset management models tailored for each Authority.  The models included Highway Deterioration Modelling, Cost Protection and Valuation, Budget Profiling and Risk Management and included Life Cycle Cost Analysis. 

 

The production of the new Vale of Glamorgan Highways Asset Management Plan was underway with the first four chapters complete.  This would contribute to the annual report to be submitted to Welsh Government on Highway Asset Data Management.

 

The Welsh Government continued to support HAMP across Wales and had provided a further £500k. funding for the 2011/12 financial year.  Part of the funding (approximately £14k. per Authority) was for the setting up of systems for the collection of footway condition data.  This was an area where there was very little data available, with only one Council in Wales having undertaken this work.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Footway Condition project commenced in September 2011 and the report would provide a comprehensive understanding of footway condition across Wales and would allow the Welsh Government to determine the backlog of work for each Authority.  Importantly, for the Vale of Glamorgan, this information would assist officers in preparing accurate and timely footway repair and refurbishment schedules, the demands for which could then be compared with that of other highway assets.

 

On 31st January 2012, the Welsh Government approved £4m. of revenue grant funding for the 2012/13 financial year.  The funding was for a 22 year period and was being provided to allow local authorities to free up their own resources for prudential borrowing up to an expected aggregate total of £170m.  across Wales.  This was exclusively for capital highway improvement investment.  The allocation for the Vale of Glamorgan for 2012/13 was £151,813.  The funding provided over the 22 year period would enable the Vale of Glamorgan to prudentially borrow £6.7m. over the three year period 2012/13 to 2014/15. 

 

The Local Government Borrowing Initiative (LGBI) was supported by the submission of a Business Justification Case (BJC) and a copy of the BJC submitted by the Vale of Glamorgan was attached at Appendix 6 to the report.  This contained such pertinent information relating to the delivery of the project to be funded through the LGBI process.

 

The BJC submission for the Vale of Glamorgan had been agreed by the Highways Engineering Services Group and had been signed off by the Council’s S.151 officer.  This would allow the funding release for the 2012/13 period from the Welsh Government.

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T the use of £750,000 from the Visible Services reserve for the 2011/12 and 2012/13 financial periods be approved.

 

(2)       T H A T the £190,840 capital funding provided by the Welsh Government for 2011/12, the current position with the Highway Asset Management Plan and the implications of the recently announced Local Government Borrowing Initiative for highway assets for the 2012-15 period be noted.

 

(3)       T H A T the report be forwarded to the Scrutiny Committees (Corporate Resources) and (Economy and Environment) for information.

 

Reasons for decisions

 

(1)       To continue to assist in funding the significant increase in the number of highway repairs necessary since the severe winters of 2009/10 and 2010/11.

 

(2)       To ensure that Cabinet are kept fully informed on these matters.

 

(3)       To advise the relevant Scrutiny Committees of the current and future positions for highway asset funding.”

 

 

Attached as Appendix - Report to Cabinet: 18th April, 2012