To receive an update on Project Horizon.
Declarations of interest:
Jason Russell, Assistant Director for Highways and Transport
John Furey, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Flooding
Mark Borland, Works Delivery Group Manager
Jane Young, Carriageway Team Leader
Key points raised during the discussion:
1. The Assistant Director for Highways and Transport introduced the report and informed the board that the service was planning for year 5 of the Horizon programme and will await for Cabinet to approve year 4 of the programme. Currently the service was working on ensuring the controls were robust and changes were managed. It was explained that the asset management team would also be involved in the delivery of Horizon going forward and would be responsible for generating the list of schemes.
2. The Committee was informed that the targets had been agreed three years ago and were achievable through the five year programme. At the end of year five of the programme, 50km of Surrey’s roads would be resurfaced. Many lessons had been learnt along the way and officers would work with the MRG to ensure effective delivery of the programme.
3. Officers provided the board with a short presentation on Project Horizon (attached as Annex 1).Officers noted that a minimum of 10% of Surrey’s roads would be completed by the end of year four. It was added that before the project had started in 2011, one in five Surrey roads were in a critical condition. In the last three years that had been reduced to one in eight. External partners were being worked with to achieve third party to complete to project, officers added that by the end of April a full four year programme could be issued.
4. Members raised concern over communication previously received regarding the programme. Officers responded that due to the complexity of the programme and a lack of capacity, communication had suffered. Recent improvements had been made and Members would be engaged in the programme. The importance of engaging Members in programmes was expressed in order to acknowledge success or raise concern. A works communications team had been bought in house to deal with communications issues.
5. It was stated by officers that the Horizon programme for year 4 and 5 would be circulated amongst local committees.
6. Members congratulated officers on the delivery of the programme but had key concerns around utility companies digging up roads which had been resurfaced under Horizon. Officers explained that utilities companies were unavoidable but were becoming more cooperative. Officers will be sharing the asset management programme with utilities companies to ensure clear communication going forward.
7. The Cabinet Member informed the Board that Surrey County Council (SCC) was the only authority to have successfully put together a programme like this in the whole country.
8. The Cabinet Member explained that due to the budgetary issues faced by local government this year the year 4 programme for Horizon has had to be completed in a short amount of time so contractors are prepared to start work. Officers stated that the year 4 programme would be shared with members as soon as the budget had been agreed by Cabinet.
9. A member of the board asked for clarity around the life of a road under Horizon. The Carriageway Team Leader stated that when warranties are discussed with contractors, a design lasting ten years is always sought.
10. A member of the board asked why there could not be an increase in enforcement officers. The Works Delivery Group Manager stated that he believed there was the correct balance of enforcement officers. Enforcement officers were taking a key role in monitoring the quality of work and the materials being used.
11. The Chairman commended officers on the Horizon programme and agreed there had been a complete change of feeling amongst the board.
The Committee noted the update on Project Horizon.