Highways & Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member – 28 June 2012

84        (1) GREENING THE WORKPLACE ACTION PLANThe Director of Places submitted a report updating the Cabinet Member on the progress in taking forward the action plan arising from the Economic Development and Corporate Issues Scrutiny Report on Greening the Workplace.

The Scrutiny Panel reported on the Greening the Workplace initiative in November 2006, a further review was carried out in September 2010.

An action plan was considered by Cabinet on 12 July 2011 (minute 933 refers). The Highways and Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member was asked to monitor the delivery of the plan.

Appendix 1 to the report showed the current action plan with updates.

Resolved – That the progress made in implementing the recommendations of the Greening the Workplace Scrutiny Report be noted.

85        (2) LOCAL NATURE PARTNERSHIPS – The Director of Places submitted a report informing the Cabinet Member about the development of Local Nature Partnerships (LNP) in Lincolnshire and around the Humber Estuary, and seeking approval to support the development of a Humber LNP and a Lincolnshire LNP.

LNPs were an initiative announced in “The Natural Choice”, the Natural Environment White Paper published on 7 June 2011.  The White Paper noted that many existing partnerships already did a lot for wildlife.  The aim for LNPs was to create more strategic partnerships.  These would address economic and community priorities as well as wildlife issues.  As such, LNPs would make links with Local Enterprise Partnerships.  They would involve groups representing health, businesses and the local community as well as councils, wildlife groups and bodies such as Natural England.

In North Lincolnshire, two different groups had gained funding from Defra in order to start building new LNPs.  In each case, project staff were working with partners to create a vision and aims for the LNP, to bring in new partners, to form working groups and to decide on actions to take forward.  Each LNP would aim to add value to work already in hand.

The Lincolnshire Biodiversity Partnership was working towards an LNP for the whole of historic Lincolnshire, and the Humber Management Scheme was working towards an LNP for the Humber Estuary, with links to the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership.  The report gave details of work completed so far.

Resolved – That the development of a Humber LNP and a Lincolnshire LNP be supported.

86        (3) ‘PREVENTION AND A BETTER CURE’ – FINAL REPORT FROM THE POTHOLES REVIEW – The Director of Places submitted a report updating the Cabinet Member on the published final ‘Pothole Review’ report by the Potholes Group as part of the Department for Transport’s Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, commissioned a review into potholes as part of the Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme. A progress report was issued in December 2011.  The final report from the review was subsequently published in April 2012.

The report referred to the £3 billion allocated from government to local highway authorities through the Local Transport Plan for road maintenance over the next four years.  It also highlighted the £200 million allocated 12 months ago to address the effects of severe weather, of which North Lincolnshire was awarded £1,018,520.

The report also recognised the range of issues impacting on the ability of councils to adequately maintain the highway network. These included the obvious topics such as:

•    harsh winter weather;

•    the range of different designs and standards used as the network had developed over many years; and

•    varying investment levels

as well as issues such as standing water and inadequate drainage, the ingress of water and the freeze-thaw cycle.

The report concluded with 17 recommendations for councils to consider across the three key messages or themes.  The attached appendix detailed these, and gave further information on the council’s current position in regard to each.

Resolved – (a) That the council’s current progress against the recommendations in the ‘Pothole Review’ report be noted, and (b) that the adoption of a targeted approach to pro-active resurfacing and surface treatments as a key highway priority be considered.

87        (4) TRAFFIC REGULATION ORDER – NO WAITING AT ANY TIME EARLSGATE, WINTERTON – The Director of Places submitted a report considering an objection received by the council to the proposed traffic restrictions on Earlsgate, Winterton.

The council built two speed tables and two speed cushions on Earlsgate in November 2011 as part of a local safety scheme.  Monitoring subsequently undertaken indicated that these measures had proven successful in reducing vehicle speeds. This provided greater safety for pedestrians crossing what was on occasion, a busy road.

Further measures were intended including providing double yellow lines.  These should improve visibility both of and for pedestrians near to the previous measures.  The proposed double yellow lines were within areas currently “hatched” to discourage parking. However, these road hatchings had not proven wholly effective, resulting in vehicles occasionally parked close the speed tables. This could cause restricted lines of sight for both motorists and pedestrians at potential detriment to their safety.

Letters were sent to many consultees, including every property in the area (around 40+) during the statutory consultation process. Notices were posted on site. During the consultation period, one objection from the town council was received.

Resolved – (a) That the introduction of the Traffic Regulation Order, as detailed in the plans at Appendix 1 to the report, be approved, and (b) that officers write to the objector advising them of the decision, following normal statutory procedure.

88        (5) REVIEW OF WINTER MAINTENANCE SEASON 2011/12 – The Director of Places submitted a report providing an overview of the Winter Service during the 2011/12 winter maintenance season, and promoting a desktop review on the initiatives that were undertaken following the Full Review of the Winter Service as a whole, during the summer of 2011.

According to the Met Office, the UK mean temperature for the winter 2011/12 was 4.5 °C.  This was much milder than the last three winters, and comparable with several other mild winters since 2000.  December was generally mild, and after a mostly mild January, the last few days saw the onset of a cold spell that lasted two weeks with some sharp frosts and snowfalls. Mild weather then returned until the end of February.

Throughout the season, the council carried out 58 full salting operations compared to 77 for 2010/11 and 67 for 2009/10.  The operations used 5,150 tonnes of salt.  There were currently 1,125 tonnes in the main storage area, with 780 tonnes in the council’s emergency stockpile. Orders had been placed to restock to the council’s capacity during the summer, prior to expected price increases.

A full review of the Winter Service was undertaken during the summer of 2011, including a full public consultation exercise.  Following this, a revised Winter Service Policy was produced, and a number of initiatives were developed and implemented.

A desktop review of the 2011/12 season was proposed, which would be carried out during July 2012.  The intention of the review was to highlight areas of success and any weaknesses that required improvement before the next winter season began.

Resolved – (a) That the overview of the winter service provided during the winter maintenance season be noted, (b) that the progress of a desktop review of the Winter Service be approved, and (c) that a further report be submitted for consideration making recommendations as to how the council would prepare for the winter season 2012/13.