Colin Kemp, the Cabinet Member for Highways will provide a verbal update on current highways matters.
Declarations of interest: None
Officers attending: Nick Healy, Area Highways Manager
Petitions, Public Questions/Statements: None
Member Discussion – key points
Colin Kemp, the Cabinet member for Highways, set out his plans for working with the Local Committee going forward. His priority is to improve communication with the Committee and he would like to share plans for centrally funded work taking place in Elmbridge at an earlier point in 2018/19 to allow Committee input into the process. A summary of the work planned for 2017/18 in the Borough would be shared with members with the minutes. [Presentation and map attached at Annex A to the minutes, the numbers on the map are the Surrey Highways asset ID number. These numbers correspond with the ID on the published Horizon 2 lists on the SCC website]
£90m will be spent on Surrey’s highway network in the current financial year. This should be just enough to maintain the network at its current standards in the short term, but if funding is not increased there will be a deterioration in highway condition. Government funding is currently based on road length rather than traffic volume. The County Council is lobbying the Government to increase the funding, given that Surrey has some of the highest traffic volumes in the country.
Additional funding is being sought via bids to Local Enterprise Partnerships. However, the preparation of schemes to submit bids is costly and match funding is required.
He congratulated the Committee on the progress they had made, working with the Borough Council, to secure Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding and using the surplus on the on street parking account to fund additional work in the Borough. He highlighted that he would be considering proposing schemes for pay and display parking in commercial areas, in order to create churn and support local business. It would be possible to incorporate a short free period with charging for a longer stay. Any surplus income could be reinvested in the highways in the area by the Local Committee. Discussions had taken place with the Federation of Small Businesses who were broadly supportive. The final decision on whether to implement pay and display and in which locations would be a matter for the Local Committee and a report will be brought to a future meeting.
Members commented on the improvement to highway fault reporting on the Surrey website which now indicates whether the issue has already been reported. Further improvements are planned. Members were concerned that many of the commercial areas within Elmbridge are surrounded by residential roads and that if pay and display parking were to be introduced, there could be significant displacement into these areas. There are also some activities, such as visiting a hair dressers or restaurant, which take longer than a short term free parking period to complete. It was noted that there could be a potential for a surplus of around £2.7m to be generated across Surrey by the introduction of pay and display parking.
The Chairman raised the significant reduction in the highway budget allocated to the Local Committee, which is roughly 10% of what it had been in previous years. The condition of the roads is the a big issue for local residents and something which is frequently raised with members. It was noted that the County Council has had to prioritise its spending to support vulnerable residents and all residents need to be made aware of investment in services that they may not be able to see.