The Cabinet Member is attending the committee to improve communications and to provide information of works in the local area.
Declarations of Interest: None
SCC Cabinet member attending: Colin Kemp, Cabinet Member for Highways
Officers attending: Nick Healey, Area Highways Team Manager
Petitions, Public Questions/Statements: None
Member Discussion – key points
The Cabinet member reported that since the report was prepared there have been some amendments to some of the annexes. Revised versions of Annexes 1 and 2 are attached to these minutes.
The information had been provided not as a consultation, but to allow members to comment and ask questions to which a reasoned response will be provided. Members were asked to feed back their comments on individual roads to the Area highways Manager who would co-ordinate a response. The plans are based on a number of criteria and regular inspections, he recognised that the current system is not perfect, but it is necessary to plan some way in advance to co-ordinate the permissions required and plan the work efficiently. Schemes further ahead may be amended if appropriate.
The Cabinet member acknowledged that there is insufficient funding to do everything that needs to be done or what residents expect and that unless there is a change in the level of Government funding there will be a managed deterioration of the network.
The Cabinet member will ensure that in future the information in the annexes provided is refreshed every three months and updated on the website. Priorities may need to change when the effects of the recent bad weather have been evaluated. An additional £5m has also been allocated to react to problems arising. The Council had recently agreed that 20% of the 1% additional increase in council tax would be given back to Local Committees. Each member would have £7.5k to spent on local highway priorities. The criteria for spend are being finalised and members will be supplied with a menu of charges for different types of work to help them plan.
The Cabinet member would clarify the difference between the A24 Network Resilience schemes listed in Annex 3. He confirmed that consideration is being given to resubmitting bids to the Local Enterprise Partnership which were unsuccessful in the previous funding round. It was queried whether the traffic signals listed were new lights or refurbishments and that this should be made clear in the table. It was recognised that there are still inaccuracies in the lists and these would be checked an updated.
Some members felt it is still unclear how the budget is agreed and how projects are prioritised. The Cabinet member confirmed that the projects outlined cover all the work scheduled to take place. Funding is not allocated by Borough but across the whole of Surrey.
Members were concerned at the progress of the Plan E work and that the programme is slipping. The weekly updates are helpful but there is still a lack of information. The Chairman reported that he had discussed the matter with the Head of Highways who would follow up on the issues.
The Committee noted the report and thanked the Cabinet member for the information provided and the improved communication with the Local Committee.