[Electoral Divisions: All South Lakeland]
To consider a report by the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure
This report provides details of the Local Committee’s Highways Revenue and Capital and Non-Devolved Capital Budgets.
A report was considered from the Executive Director – Economy and Infrastructure regarding the 2022/23 Highways Devolved Revenue and Capital Update Report. The report presented the Highways Devolved Revenue and Devolved Capital and Non-Devolved Capital Budget finance reports and updated members as to current progress on those budget lines as detailed in the appendices attached to the report.
The Local Area Network Manager South Lakeland presented the report and drew out the key messages for members. This included the projected overspend. He also noted that the projected overspend on the Highways Devolved Capital allocation has been reduced from £218,842 to under £70,000.
The Chair noted the figures and asked if the intention was to have no underspend or overspend as at 31 March 2023.
The Local Area Network Manager South Lakeland commented that the intention was to work to have no overspend or underspend as at 31 March 2023. He noted that in previous years the Devolved Capital Budget Allocations for the following financial year would have been presented in this meeting, however there was a concern that it was not correct for Cumbria County Council members to commit expenditure for the new authorities. The Local Area Network Manager read out a statement from the Director of Economy and Infrastructure “Currently our teams are working on the draft highways programme for 2023/24, subject to the approval of capital and revenue funds in the new financial year. Please be assured that we will continue to work to ensure a seamless transition of delivery for the highways programmes in 2023/24.”
The Local Member for Grange commented on the impact that this would have on the gritting schedule.
The Local Area Network Manager South Lakeland noted that winter maintenance is held at Cabinet level and would continue as normal.
The Local Member for Lower Kentdale asked for clarification on the reasons for the overspend.
The Local Area Network Manager South Lakeland explained that there were various factors that included construction inflation, and extra work to be done.
The Chair remarked about bridge repair work following accident damage and the unexpected nature of this and how this work was funded.
The Local Area Network Manager South Lakeland commented that the system was the same as with any asset that was damaged by a third party. If the person responsible can be located then they will be billed, if not then the repair needs to be funded from other budget lines.
Dr Jarvis noted that any expenditure under £2 million can bind the new authority. It is important that it was business as usual on 1 April and that work was planned to take place.
The Local Member for Kendal Strickland and Fell commented that plans were in place. The on-going debate is what devolution would take place to Locality Boards. He wanted to reassure members that it was business as usual and asked officers to maximise efficiency of the service by enhancing what members are involved in and the information that was available to them.
The Local Member for Lyth Valley raised a concern about a bridge repair.
The Local Area Network Manager South Lakeland noted that a response had already been provided to the Member for Lyth Valley.
RESOLVED that, Local Committee notes the revenue and capital budget allocations for 2022/23 and the commitments and expenditure recorded to the end of September 2022 and shown in Appendices 1, 2 and 3 of the report.