[Electoral Divisions: All]
To consider a report from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure.
This report presents the Devolved Highways Revenue, Devolved Highways Capital and Non-Devolved Capital budget reports combined with programme progress information as detailed in the appendices attached to the report.
A report was considered from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure regarding the Highways Programme progress 2021/22. The report presented the Devolved Highways Revenue, Devolved Highways Capital and Non-Devolved Capital budget reports combined with programme progress information.
The Local Area Network Manager presented the report and talked members through the budgets as set out in 2.1 of the report. Members’ attention was drawn to the revised Revenue budget which had reduced by £53,417 due to an overspend in 2020/21. An additional £167,000 had been added to the Devolved Highways Capital budget. A £362,000 underspend in the additional pothole fund had been carried forward into this financial year. Funding from the 2020/21 Challenge Fund had been carried forward to allow the completion of outstanding schemes.
Members were guided through the appendices attached to the report which identified schemes, programmes and improvements in Eden. A number of updates to the information in the appendices were reported. Officers were waiting for the final costs of Appleby New Fair and the 2020/21 NPRN Surface Dressing Programme had been completed. Good progress was being made on the Devolved Highways Capital Programme and Footway Maintenance Schemes. The Local Area Transport Safety Schemes were ongoing and the PRN schemes were progressing well.
Members’ attention was drawn to the £362,000 underspend brought forward from 2020/21 into the DfT Pot Hole Fund. £156,000 of this was being used to extend a number of the named schemes within Appendix 7 of the report, leaving £205,000 still to be allocated. The schemes that this would be spent on were currently being identified by the Network Team. It was noted that the Countryside Access Team, not the Network Team was delivering the footbridge replacement scheme funded through the Environment Fund. Three schemes were on track which were funded by the Environment Fund and COMF. The Castletown Bridge to Alba Proteins scheme had commenced with the two COMF schemes programmed to be completed sequentially.
The Local Area Network Manager explained that he was pleased with the current delivery of schemes taking place in challenging circumstances and it was noted that at this stage, half way through the year it was expected that there would be full scheme delivery of the 2021/22 Eden Highways Programme. He reported that some materials were difficult to source and material costs were rising.
A member commented on how Eden was trailblazing the way in Cumbria in terms of its innovative ways of working. The member welcomed that a sensible financial approach meant that programmes and schemes were being delivered efficiently and effectively in Eden.
After highlighting his concerns about the effectiveness of the new HIAMS system, a member stated that without the use of grid references, in a rural area it was difficult to identify the exact location of a defect or issue. He explained that he could not report a defect because of this and the system was difficult to use. He considered that a postcode was only useful in an urban area.
The Local Area Network Manager advised that this had been raised with the IT team who were developing and supporting the HIAMS system and noted that additional training would be provided to members.
The Chair asked about the budget for Appleby Horse Fair. The Traffic Management Team Leader (Eden) stated that this information would be received in the next few weeks.
RESOLVED that, the progress information shown in the appendices attached to the report be noted.