MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE ENVIRONMENT AND TRANSPORT SELECT COMMITTEE HELD AT COUNTY HALL, NEWPORT, ISLE OF WIGHT ON TUESDAY, 24 JUNE 2003 COMMENCING AT 9.30 AM
Mr M J Cunningham (Vice Chairman in the Chair), Mr A C Bartlett, Mrs B D Clough, Mr J Effemey, Mrs M J Miller, Mr V J Morey, Mr A J Mundy, Mr R C Richards
Mr J R Adams, Mr G P Price
Portfolio Holders :
Mrs T M Butchers, Mr E Fox
THAT the minutes of the meeting held on 9 June 2003 be confirmed.
15. DECLARATIONS OF INTERESTS
There were no declarations made at this stage.
16. BUDGET MONITORING AS AT MAY 2003
(During the course of debate on the revenue budget Mr A J Mundy declared a personal interest in maters relating to public conveniences at Northwood House as a member of the Northwood House Trust and took no part in the discussions thereon)
The Chief Financial Officer presented a report on the revenue and capital budget as at May 2003. He indicated that included in the details for the revenue expenditure were known commitments Members were also reminded of the need to monitor the highway maintenance and traffic management budgets due to the effect of the budget reductions, £248,000, approved by the Council as part of the budget strategy. The Select Committee should also ensure that the target for the budgeted increase in car park income was being achieved. Members discussed a number of issues connected with the operation of the Council’s on street/off street car parks particularly the associated infrastructure. It was believed that this was a matter that could be reviewed by the Car Park Task Group.
The Select Committee debated the latest position on the transfer of ownership of a number of public conveniences to other organisations. In discussing the budget for waste management and recycling members were advised that Island Waste was still in negotiations for the purchase of the generating plant next to its facility in Forest Road, Newport. The company had also acquired a baling machine to assist in reducing their costs in transporting flock fuel to the mainland. The recycling targets were still being achieved.
The Chief Financial Officer then reminded members that the capital budget for 2003/04 was £5,495,000 together with a carry forward of £2,100,000 of underspend from 2002/03. It was anticipated that the Newport - Cowes Strategic Corridor scheme would be overspent together with the Sandown to Newport Cycleway. The Head of Engineering Services outlined the background to these two schemes and the cost effectiveness of undertaking associated works whilst contractors were available on site. The money for commitments above the original budget for these schemes would be vired from other approved budget headings in order to contain the total within the available budget. This would be without detriment to the overall objectives of the programme and complied with the Local Transport Plan.
The Select Committee discussed how to ensure that statutory undertakers and contractors working on the highway were more accountable for their work. The Head of Engineering Services indicated that contractors details would be included on the list of road works and relevant information should also be contained on signs at the actual site.
With regard to improvements being undertaken to assist the operation of buses members noted that no funding was forthcoming from Southern Vectis towards any of these. The Select Committee discussed the need to secure additional funding for the provision of bus shelters and review policies associated with siting. It was believed that this should form an item for a future meeting.
(a) THAT the monitoring report on revenue and capital expenditure be accepted.
(b) THAT an item be included in the workplan relating to the funding and provision of bus shelters and a representative of the IW Bus Users Group and Southern Vectis be invited to attend together with the Head of Planning Services.
17. PROGRESS REPORT ON HIGHWAYS AND TRANSPORTATION BEST VALUE IMPROVEMENT PLAN
The Head of Engineering Services reminded the Select Committee of the Best Value Review that had been undertaken of the Highways and Transportation Service in December 2001 and the subsequent reinspection in August 2002. A comprehensive improvement plan had been developed and reported to the Select Committee on 16 June 2002 and 27 November 2002.
In order to assess the progress made in implementing the Improvement Plan a consultant had been appointed. This would enable an independent audit of the Improvement Plan so to ensure that adequate progress had been made. It was anticipated that the Consultant’s report would be available for consideration at the August meeting.
Members were given a brief summary of various actions that had been taken to assist in the operation and delivery of the service. It was noted that a series of leaflets were to be shortly available giving key details on service information. The Head of Engineering Services also referred to revised links with Town and Parish Councils. This would involve the Area Superintendent liaising on a regular basis with the Clerks in their area. The Select Committee felt that local members should also be kept appraised of any issues raised at these meetings.
(a) THAT the views of the consultant on the progress being made with the Best Value Improvement Plan be reported to the meeting on 20 August 2003.
(b) THAT the liaison arrangements between the Area Superintendents and Clerks to Town and Parish Councils include a provision to enable relevant feedback to local members.
18. MEMBERS QUESTION TIME
Mr A C Bartlett asked a question in relation to the closure of Seven Sisters Road, Ventnor.
Mr J Effemey asked a question in relation to the standard clearance height for road signs.
Mrs M J Miller asked a question in relation to the condition of Brown Tourist signs.