To select appropriate items from the Cabinet agenda for pre-decision scrutiny (reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)
The Committee scrutinised the following Cabinet Board items:
Street Scene Capital Funding 2021/22
The Committee were presented with a report which set out the allocation of ‘Environment Street Scene Improvements’ monies included in the capital budget for 2021/22.
Members asked if locations had already been identified for the renewal of coloured surfacing and high friction surfacing, speed message signs and bus shelter replacements.
It was confirmed that the Network and Programme Manager for the service had a prioritised list of locations for the renewal of coloured surfacing and high friction surfacing; there weren’t any new locations included on the list as the extra money was being used to increase the investment in maintaining those that were already in place as part of road safety schemes. Officers highlighted the Council had been successful in obtaining road safety grant money over the years; these were put in place from responding to Members speeding concerns and looking into the accident records. It was mentioned that a lot of coloured surfacing had been delivered such as red and green surfacing and also high friction grip surfacing; the budget hadn’t increased over time, therefore it was very helpful to receive additional funding to catch up with the maintenance.
In relation to the speed message signs, it was highlighted that a lot of the signs were placed as part of road safety schemes; the initial focus would be on the replacing the signs that were around the perimeter of schools, ensuring that they were all fit for purpose. Members were informed that Welsh Government were currently in the first phase of moving to a 20mph default speed limit across Wales; therefore Officers weren’t going to be prioritising the replacement of 30mph warnings sings in areas which could change to 20mph in the near future.
A discussion took place in regards to bus shelter replacements. Officers explained that there were 528 bus shelters within the County Borough, around 128 of which were the advertising style shelters that were maintained by the advertiser in return for advertising rights; this left the Council with around 400 bus shelters to maintain. It was noted that there was £40,000 in the budget for day to day maintenance; the additional money allocated would help provide around 15 new bus shelters, as the average cost of a new bus shelter was around £3,500 - £5,000.
It was asked if Members would need to make a request if they needed new bus shelters in their ward. Officers explained that the County Borough currently had a lot of poor quality bus shelters which needed replacing; these would be the priority in the first instance. It was mentioned that this highlighted the need of the additional capital to increase the investment in the maintenance of the existing bus shelters.
It was confirmed that Members would be informed by the relevant Officers if any works, included within the circulated report, needed to be carried out within their ward.
The Committee thanked all Officers within the service for their hard work during this difficult period.
Following scrutiny, the Committee were supportive of the recommendation to go to Cabinet Board.