Highways & Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member – Minutes – 2 May 2013

50              (46) BEREAVEMENT SERVICES The Director of Places submitted a report outlining the progress made within Bereavement Services since June 2012, including the completion of the Mercury Abatement Project.

Bereavement Services covered crematorium and cemetery services provided by the council.  A new management arrangement for the service was put in place in June 2012.  The service had recently completed the Mercury Abatement Project approved by the council.

The project to renew the two cremators was necessary to comply with the government’s revised mercury abatement regulations.  The project was completed on time and was now fully operational.  The report detailed the main benefits.

The works stage of the project lasted for approximately nine months during which full operational daily services were maintained.  The service also successfully retained the ‘Green Flag’ accreditation for its parks and gardens.

Consideration had been given as to how to maximise future usage of the new facility.  This was supported by the service undertaking an assessment of its customer needs.  The review had also assessed opportunities for introducing new commercial ventures at all of the bereavement facilities and locations operated by the council.

Resolved – (a) That the intention to introduce a new range of memorials at Barton, Brigg and Winterton cemeteries, with a view to offering new customer choice, be approved, and (b) that the completion of the Mercury Abatement Project be noted.

51              (47) HIGHWAYS LOCAL TRANSPORT PLAN PROGRAMME UPDATE – The Director of Places submitted a report updating the Cabinet Member on the progress of delivering the current Local Transport Plan and Capital budget programmes.

Transport capital expenditure was mainly secured through the Local Transport Plan (LTP) process.  The council was required to submit a LTP submission for the Department of Transport.  The plan set out transport priorities for the council.  Last year had seen the start of the third generation of the plans.  They now covered a 15-year period.

As part of the LTP submission, council’s were required to produce a three year Delivery Plan.  This plan set out the programme themes and expected outcomes for the plan.

There were two funding streams within the LTP award: Integrated Transport and Highway Maintenance.  The allocations for the current year including carry forwards were as follows:

·         Integrated Transport £1,041,000

·         Highway Maintenance £4,141,040

All funding received through the LTP process was assessed by professionally qualified officers, considering transport priorities and performance targets.  The breakdown into programmes of work was assessed using agreed policies and criteria.

Highway maintenance schemes were prioritised using nationally recognised highway condition assessment criteria within a prioritisation framework.  Where appropriate, maintenance schemes also included measures to improve road safety (particularly for vulnerable road users), increase personal security, reduce crime and enhance the street scene.

Monitoring of the current Drainage and Floodwork capital programme suggested an anticipated end of year underspend of the budget for the Woodland View drainage scheme at Barnetby le Wold.  The current position of the scheme was set out in Appendix 1 to the report.  It was anticipated that the scheme would be delivered in full during 2013-14.  It was therefore essential that the slippage was carried forward to support the scheme funding in that year.

Resolved – (a) That the progress of the delivery of the programme be noted; (b) that the potential start dates for future schemes, in Appendix 2 to the report, be noted and (c) that the proposal to carry forward and include the Drainage and Floodwork slippage within the next financial year’s allocation be approved.

52              (48) NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE CYCLING STRATEGY UPDATE – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking to update the Cabinet Member on the current position in relation to The Ridgeway (NCN169), future prioritised Cycle Scheme projects and funding streams available to support cycling.

The Ridgeway (NCN169) update

The Ridgeway was part funded by Sustrans and the Big Lottery and would provide a six mile route for cyclists and pedestrians.  Beginning in April 2009, the route ran from Manor Park in Scunthorpe to Bagmore Lane at Normanby and would be completed in April 2013.  Overall, the scheme had seen an increase in use of 236 percent from baseline data.

The success of The Ridgeway had not only increased cycle and pedestrian usage but had inspired other councils to use good practice in other areas.  An article on Sustrans website in March 2013 recognised the council for its inspiring infrastructure.

Future prioritised Cycle Schemes

The council had operated an approved prioritisation policy for the implementation of the cycle routes throughout its area.  The council’s overall aim for cycling was to progress and develop the cycle network, linking national, local and recreational cycle routes throughout the district, via the use of existing facilities as well as the creation of new cycle routes.  These aims were in accordance with the council’s approved objectives for improving the local environment through the provision of integrated transport facilities for a safe network, thus aiming to reduce traffic growth.

The priority focus area of the strategy was to develop primary urban networks, before linking with neighbouring settlements by providing safe and efficient cycling facilities.

Future funding streams for cycling

A key announcement in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement was an extra £1bn funding for the road programme and £42m for cycling infrastructure.  There was also the Community Linking places fund and money for Improving Cycle Safety at junctions.

The report gave details about bids that the council had put forward, along with information on possible future funding opportunities.

Resolved – (a) That the council continues to work within its cycle policies to prioritise future schemes, and (b) that external funding be continued to be sought to maximise internal delivery of the council’s aims and objectives for future cycle schemes.

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Where there is no report this is because it is exempt, as it contains information which is considered to be of a confidential nature, as detailed in the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.