Highways & Neighbourhoods Cabinet Member – Minutes – 21 November 2012

108 (25) ARREARS OF PENALTY CHARGE NOTICESThe Director of Places submitted a reportadvising the Cabinet Member of arrears of penalty charge notice (pcn) income and seeking agreement for a future process for managing the arrears.

The council took over the enforcement of on street parking from the police on 1 March 2010.

The process for collecting pcns was set out in the Traffic Management Act 2004 and was followed in all cases.  The council was vigilant in pursuing the charges.  Debts were always passed onto bailiffs when payment was overdue and there was an identifiable owner.  The process often took 12 months but could take up to 18 months.  Appendix 1 to the report described the collection process.

Appendix 2 to the report set out arrears for the two and a half years that the council had run the service.  There was clearly a lead in time to pursue payment against bad payers.  As such, the percentage of pcns paid in the first year was high but this tapered off as time progressed.  This was because much of the income was still in the course of being collected.  The eventual income for more recent periods would therefore increase.

The report set out information on pcns, including proposals to recover further debt.

Resolved – (a) That the service continued to make diligent efforts to recover penalty charge notice debt; (b) that Bristow Sutor bailiffs be appointed on a trial basis to attempt to recover appropriate outstanding debts; (c) that Marston and Jacobs bailiffs be requested to follow up any of their uncollectable warrants through the debt recovery process; (d) that the latest position on debt recovery be reported to the Cabinet Member on a six monthly basis, and (e) that formal write offs be referred to the Policy and Resources Cabinet Member as appropriate.

109 (26) DEVELOPMENT OF A TRANSPORT ASSET MANAGEMENT PLAN – The Director of Places submitted a report considering the need to develop long term highway asset management planning, and advising on progress achieved to date.

The requirement for Highway Authorities to prepare highway asset management plans was reinforced by the Department for Transport. Highway Asset management plans were now more usually referred to as Transport Asset Management plans. The need for a Transport Asset Management plan by the council was referenced in the current Local Transport Plan.

The annual submission of whole government accounts (WGA) by all local authorities now included the requirement to include valuations of the highway asset. The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) had published the Transport Infrastructure Asset Codes. This provided detailed guidance on how to value the highway asset. Without an asset based approach, this valuation would not be possible. The highway valuations submitted for 2011-12, were externally auditable for the first time.

Officers had worked to develop a Transport Asset Management Plan over a number of years. Appendix 1 to the report was a draft transport asset management policy.  It sought to outline needs, intents and benefits of an asset based approach, and to identify the details of the delivery of transport asset management planning.

Resolved – (a) That the current progress on the development of transport asset management planning be noted; (b) that a robust transport asset management policy, based upon the current draft appended to the report, be implemented, and (c) that a further report be submitted to the Cabinet Member upon completion of a wider consultation process.

110 (27) AUTHORISATION OF THE SAFER ROADS HUMBER SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENT – The Director of Places submitted a report seeking authority to enter into a formal service level agreement (SLA) with Safer Roads Humber and its partners, and seeking approval for the Director of Places to sign the SLA on behalf of the authority.

Safer Roads Humber was a sub regional road safety partnership. It was formed in 2007, the main purpose of the partnership was to reduce road casualties.  The council was a member of the partnership. Other members included unitary authorities in the Humber area, Humberside Police, Humberside Fire and Rescue service and the Highways Agency.

The work of the partnership was intelligence led.  Priorities were based on the road users most at risk.  The partnership was funded through the road safety grant given to local authorities by central government. This was now part of the formula grant funding.

Income from diversion courses such as speed seminars now made up the greatest amount of funding for the partnership.  However, some local authority funding was still necessary.

Resolved – (a) That the proposal to enter into a Service Level Agreement with Safer Roads Humber be approved, and (b) that the Director of Places be authorised to sign the Service Level Agreement on behalf of North Lincolnshire Council.

111 (28) 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 secured through the Local Transport Plan (LTP) process.  The council was required to submit a LTP submission to the Department for Transport.  The plan set out transport priorities for the council.  This year had seen the start of the third generation of the plans, which now covered a 15 year period.

As part of the LTP submission, councils were required to produce a three-year Delivery Plan.  The plan set out the programme of themes and expected outcomes for the plan.

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

  • Integrated Transport £ 1,108,000
  • Highway Maintenance £ 4,257,330

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.

Resolved – That the progress of the delivery of the programme be noted.