Colin Chick, Commissioning Director: Communities and Infrastructure to update the Committee on current issues.
7.1 Colin Chick, Strategic Adviser (Communities & Infrastructure), updated the Committee on current issues. In particular, members noted that:
· Ringway and Amey were in ongoing negotiations regarding staff moving over under the new contract;
· in December Atkins were awarded the professional services contact, to commence 1 April 2019;
· the lengthsman scheme was funded by a one off provision. Due to importance members placed on this scheme, the highways team are currently working out the best way to continue to deliver the work from within the term maintenance contract;
· the LED street lighting programme is due to be completed by the end of this month;
· GCC are currently analysing data from Phase four of the Cheltenham Transport Plan (Trial Boots Corner Closure) and have met with Cheltenham Borough to discuss how best to address concerns of local businesses;
· a new parking management scheme has been implemented at Arle Court to tackle misuse by local long-term parkers;
· there has been a three/fourfold increase on the price of bus contracts which is being looked at on how best to manage;
· an announcement on the preferred scheme for the A417 is due in the spring; and
· Metzway works are due to be completed by the end of January;
7.2 A member raised an issue on the maintenance of streetlights. He highlighted that it is sometimes not clear whether lights in developments are the responsibility of the Council or the developer. Officers confirmed highways hold a database which they would check first before carrying out any maintenance works.
7.3 Members noted the delay of planned enhancements to GWR and Cross Country services, now due to start in May 2019 from December 2018. Members welcomed the suggestion by officers to write to GWR, lobbying that this date of commencement doesn’t slip any further.
7.4 A member sought clarification on section 2.1.2 of the report. It was understood by members that they received £20,000 per year per member for highways local, which doesn’t equal £1.58m as a total as stated in the report.
ACTION: COLIN CHICK/SCOTT TOMPKINS
7.5 Several members raised concerns in respect of planning applications. As district councils have the devolved power to process applications, GCC as the highways authority are able to make comment on issues that may arise if approved. Members are becoming increasingly frustrated when they attend planning committees to decide on applications and there are no highways officers present. They highlighted it is very difficult to question comments made if there is no one present to question. Members requested that officers’ feedback at the next committee on their criteria for sending an officer to planning committee, and to highlight if there are issues with capacity in this area.
ACTION: PHILLIP WILLIAMS
7.6 Due to urgent circumstances, the Strategic Adviser had to leave the meeting. A member raised a question regarding the timeline for the Javelin Park project going forward, specifically when the project will ‘go live’.
ACTION: COLIN CHICK/DEMOCRATIC SERVICES
7.7 A member stressed there were currently 13 outstanding double yellow line orders in Stroud. Officers responded advising that the Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) is a very complicated process. Every time a TRO is made it costs £10,000, therefore to improve efficiency – the teams will ‘bundle together’ sets of yellow line orders to do in a day. Members were informed the Department of Transport is currently looking at how TRO’s can be better streamlined for local authorities. Members requested an update on the outstanding orders in Stroud and to confirm the criteria for ‘bundling’ TROs.
ACTION: MARK DARLOW-JOY