Agenda item


Purpose of report: Policy Development and Review


To brief Committee Members regarding a new 15 year Asset Management Strategy for Surrey’s Highways.


Declarations of interest: None.




Peter Agent, Asset Planning Group Manager

Simon Mitchell, Maintenance Plan Team Leader


Key points raised during the discussion:


1.    The 15 year asset management strategy development plan was presented to Members of the Committee. It was explained that this was a 15 year outline programme which would look at around 20 transport and highway assets owned by the Council. Officers explained that they would be looking to create a Member Reference Group to help them with the project. A Member of the Committee asked for an objective around the level of interface officers had with Local Committees to be included as part of the Member Reference Group’s discussions.


2.    A Member of the Committee raised concerns around the lack of communication and involvement there seemed to be with Local Committees on the proposed plan. Officers agreed that they would look into this.


3.    Members of the Committee asked for clarification around the Footway Network Survey. The Maintenance Plan Team Leader explained that the survey had started 4 years ago with around 8-9,000 km of network being surveyed and analysed. A Member of the Committee asked if it would be possible for officers to brief Local Committee Members on the survey. 


4.    There were questions around the level of involvement highways engineers had in decision making. It was confirmed that when issues arose, these were discussed with local engineers who were then expected to pass on this information to the local Member.


5.    Members of the Committee commented on whether any discussions had taken place with other stakeholders and if the proposals had taken account of other strategies the Council had in place. The Asset Planning Group Manager explained that the plan was still in its early stages and the team was identifying a way forward with the help of the Committee and the Member Reference Group.


6.    A Member of the Committee asked officers if it would be possible for each Member to get a grading of the severity of red roads in their local area as part of the mapping system. The Asset Planning Group Manager agreed that the team want to be in a position where they can show Members the full effect of different budgets on roads with pictorial support.


7.    The Asset Planning Group Manager clarified that bridal ways and rights of way were not included as part of highways and were therefore part of a separate management plan.


8.    There were questions from Members around damage to county property and what the procedure was when dealing with this. The Asset Planning Group Manager explained that the county made best efforts to get back as much money as they could from damages; ensuring public safety was the first consideration. The Maintenance Plan Team Leader explained that there was an immediate response in place from contractors Kier who would retain some commercial value from following up on damages.


9.    Comments were made by the Committee on the focus there seemed to be on larger roads rather than smaller roads as part of Project Horizon. Members agreed that there needed to be a balance for present and future provision, and that the positive work that had taken place on the County’s larger roads should be better promoted to residents.


10.  The Committee expressed its support for the current highways contract and felt it should be recognised that the current structure was better than what had been seen under previous contracts.


11.  It was suggested that while interest rates were low the Council should consider investing in capital in a way that reduces costs long-term.


Recommendations: None


Actions/further information to be provided:


Officers to provide the Committee with details around specific targets for the recovery of money for damage to County property.


Committee Next Steps:


The Select Committee will receive a full report on proposals for the development of a longer-term approach to the management of highways at its meeting on 13 March 2014.

Supporting documents: