(1) The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting;
(2) Members were reminded that any declarations of interest in respect of any business set out in the agenda, and the nature of the interest, should be declared as either a prejudicial or personal interest at the commencement of the relevant item on the agenda. Members declaring a prejudicial interest should leave the room and not seek to influence the decision during that particular item; (3) Hertfordshire Local - Highway Locality Budget A report on Hertfordshire Local - Highway Locality Budget Pilots in Broxbourne and Dacorum was presented to the Hertfordshire County Council Cabinet meeting of 21 March 2011. HCC Cabinet agreed to the following recommendations: That Cabinet approves the introduction of Highway Locality Budgets (HLBs) in the Borough Council areas of Broxbourne and Dacorum from April 2011. Agrees that each Highway Locality Budget comprise £90,000 per County Councillor in each of the pilot areas from highway budgets; comprising £15,000 from HJMP discretionary budget (for schemes or work that could have been funded from that budget) and £75,000 from highway maintenance budgets (for Super Cat2 work) Review arrangements to be developed and carried out, to learn from the pilots and to determine whether the initiative should be extended to other areas of the county for the year commencing April 2012. Future updates: It is intended that the introduction of the pilots will be monitored, an evaluation of the experience of those involved in the pilots be carried out and that the Highway Joint member Panels be provided with information and updates when it becomes available; (4)Winter Maintenance Service Delivery Update The 2010/11 winter maintenance service has continued to be effectively delivered in accordance with Herts Highways Winter Maintenance Plan, further to the severe weather conditions experienced during December 2010. An annual review of the winter maintenance operational plan will be undertaken during the spring to be reported to the Countys Highways and Transport panel in September 2011. In the past 3 winter seasons we have experienced a significant demand on our winter service and maintaining suitable salt stocks presented a major challenge. Previously, during the 2009/10 season we were required to restrict the precautionary salting treatment to a priority road network as a result of National advice and guidance. In addition during past 3 years period we have received a large number of requests for salt bins totalling over 1,000 of which around 300 met with the criteria for deployment. To deploy this amount of bins would have put a massive strain on our resources. In view of this we took the difficult decision to deploy only a limited number of around 60 bins that were identified by our County Council members. Presently, as we are now entering a period of low risk for the winter season we are not currently refilling salt bins, however should further severe weather be forecast we will reinstate this service. Following the many and varied requests for additional salt bins we are currently undertaking a full review of the process for new salt bin provision to assess how we can best manage the effective deployment of salt/grit bins in future years. These findings will also be reported to the Countys Highways and Transport panel in September 2011. (5)Walsworth Bridge (A505 Cambridge Road, Hitchin) Progress on this scheme was delayed as UK Power Networks (formerly EDF) failed to meet their programme to divert the electric cables, which had delayed elements of the work. However, the cabling diversion works were now complete and Highways were working to reprogram the remaining works. It is anticipated that the road could reopen as per the original programmed date of 20 May 2011, however some activities may have to continue in the verges or under temporary traffic lights after the road had reopened. Highways had written to UK Power Networks to record that if delays did result in additional costs to HCC then the recovery of costs would be sought from UK Power Networks. Local Members will be kept up to date with weekly progress updates via Email, should there be any queries relating to the scheme Members are requested to contact the Structures Client for the works, Richard Dunn, or the Local Assistant District Manager. Ken Clowes, the HCC press office had also issued a press release following queries from the local media.
JOINT MEMBER PANEL DISCRETIONARY PROJECT
The Lead Assistant District Manager (LADM) acknowledged the referrals from four NHDC Area Committees and advised the JMP that there had been no offers of matched funding for highway schemes from the Letchworth Area Committee. The LADM also advised that the Royston Area Committee had yet to make any firm decisions on matched funding for highway schemes but would advise Highways as soon as possible.
The LADM referred the Panel to the Approved Schemes for 2010-2011 as listed at Paragraph 3.1, confirmed that nine schemes were complete and two schemes were currently underway and advised that Appendix B gave details on each scheme. The LADM next referred the JMP to the highway schemes identified for 2011-2012 as listed at Paragraph 3.2 and identified those schemes supported by NHDC Area Committees, referred to the JMP and the amount of financial support offered. The JMP noted that Scheme iv - Footway widening at Tannery Drift, Royston would be a scheme delivered by the Safer Routes to School, that Scheme vi - Church Lane, Graveley (rat running and Unsuitability for HGV ) would be held over until the new Great Ashby Community Council was appointed on 5 May 2011 and the new Community Council had been given opportunity to comment. The JMP noted all the proposals for matched funding from the Area Committees as detailed at Table 3.2 and following debate on each scheme decided the amounts that would be made available from the JMP Discretionary Budget for 2011 - 2012. (See Resolution 3 (i) to 3 (ix) below). The Chairman advised the JMP that the amount available to support the new footpath at Radwell totalled £2000 only - comprised of £500 from a Baldock Member and £1500 from two HCC Members locality budget. During the assessment of each scheme and the proposed funding there was a brief discussion on the precise definition of matched funding and the LADM advised that although a fifty per cent funding was expected in all cases it was ultimately at the discretion of the JMP to agree or not agree for a scheme to move forward or not and whether the proposed funding was acceptable or not. With this advice in mind the JMP decided not to proceed with some schemes due to the low amount of proposed funding listed in Table 3.2. The LADM deferred to a request to refine the list of streets in Hitchin which could be considered as part of the investigation to ascertain whether they would be suitable for a 20 m.p.h. speed limit in accordance with policy set out in the Speed Management Strategy. It was agreed that the Hitchin Area Committee would finalise a list of sites to be designated at a 20 m.p.h. speed limit at the next meeting to be held on 7 Jun 2011 and agreed to confirm an absolute final list of streets directly to the LADM as soon as possible. The LADM advised the JMP that following the decision on schemes with matched funding there remained a significant sum outstanding in the JMP Discretionary Budget for 2011-2012 and the Chairman proposed and it was agreed to receive further application from the five NHDC Area Committees during the June 2011 cycle of meetings with referral to the next meeting of the JMP to be held on 25 July 2011. The LADM requested that any schemes put forward should be small as they would be easier to provide estimates in a short time rather than a large scheme such as a pedestrian crossing which would take some time to provide an estimate and the use of technology would probably take up the majority of available funding. RESOLVED: (1) That the referrals from four NHDC Area Committees be noted (Minute 56 above refers); (2) That the progress update on highway schemes in 2010-2011 be noted; (3) That the following highway schemes be approved for joint funding in 2011 - 2012: (i)Scheme: Great Ashby Way- improve awareness of crossing points in the vicinity of Round Diamond School on approach to Whitehorse Lane/Great Ashby Way Roundabout, (Feasibility). Scheme Cost = £2,000 JMP funding = £1,000 Area Committee funding = £1,000 Ward Member funding = £ 0 HCC locality funding = £0 (ii)Scheme: A507 Baldock - Radwell , New Footpath, (Design and Implementation). Scheme Cost = £10,000 JMP funding = £ 8,000 Area Committee funding = £ 0 Ward Member funding = £ 500 HCC locality funding = £1,500 (Cllr Muir = £500 and Cllr Hunter(£1,000) (iii)Scheme: Farriers Close, Codicote - Parking Issues, (Design and Implementation) Scheme Cost = £8,000 JMP funding = £4,000 Area Committee funding = £4,000 Ward Member funding = £ 0 HCC locality funding = £ 0 (iv)Scheme: Junction Protection Schemes (5 sites in total) Hitchin (Nutleigh Grove j/w Redhill Road, Willowtree Way j/w Old Hale Way), Great Ashby (Whitehorse Lane), Letchworth (Rushby Mead j/w Rushby Place), Royston (The Warren) (Consultation and Implementation). Scheme Cost = between £12,000 and £20,000 JMP funding = £ tbc Area Committee funding = Hitchin = up to £5,333 and Southern Rural £3,675 Ward Member funding = £ 0 HCC locality funding = £ 0 (v)Scheme: Vehicle Activated Signs - Old Hale Way, Strathmore Avenue, Bedford Road, St. Michaels Road and Pirton Road, Hitchin, (Investigation). Scheme Cost = £5,700 JMP funding = £3,800 Area Committee funding = £1,900 Ward Member funding = £ 0 HCC locality funding = £ 0 (vi)Scheme: 20 mph restrictions in Hitchin for various streets in Hitchin, (Investigation). Scheme Cost = 13,140 JMP funding = £8,790 Area Committee funding = £4,350 Ward Member funding = £ 0 HCC locality funding = £ 0 (vii)Scheme: Whitehorse Lane (In the vicinity of Round Diamond School) Great Ashby, 20 mph limit, (Investigation). Scheme Cost = £3,150 JMP funding = £1,575 Area Committee funding = £1,575 Ward Member funding = £ 0 HCC locality funding = £ 0 (viii)Scheme: Hill Road and Meadow Way, Codicote- Request for verge protection measures using grasscrete (Design and Implementation) Scheme Cost = £14,250 JMP funding = £7,125 Area Committee funding = £7,125 Ward Member funding = £ 0 HCC locality funding = £ 0 (ix)Scheme: A505 j/w Willow Lane, Hitchin - no right turn (Investigation) Scheme Cost = £5,500 JMP funding = £2,750 Area Committee funding = £0 Ward Member funding = £ 0 HCC locality funding = £2,750 (4) That the Hitchin Area Committee be requested at the meeting to be held on 7 June 2011 to clarify the final list of streets that would be proposed for a speed limit of 20 m.p.h. and that the Hitchin Community Development Manager should advise the Lead Assistant District Manager of the final list as soon as possible but no later than 14 June 2011; (5) That the Hitchin Area Committee be requested to note that should the number of streets for a 20 m.p.h. speed limit increase above the number of streets previously referred to the JMP then an increased contribution would be sought from the Committee; (6) That with reference to (3) (i) to (ix) above and remaining funds within the JMP Discretionary Budget for 2011-2012 each NHDC Area Committee be invited during the June 2011 cycle of meetings to consider any final joint funding contributions and confirm these to the LADM (via the respective CDO) as soon as possible. That requests for new schemes would be considered dependent on complexity to produce a cost estimate, and if new schemes were proposed then the Area Committee should indicate a provisional level and amount of joint funding; (7) That upon receipt of the proposed additional schemes for matched funding the Lead Assistant District Manager be requested wherever possible to present costed schemes to the next meeting of the JMP to be held on 25 July 2011 for a decision on which schemes to support. REASON FOR DECISION: To ensure the effective deployment of the 2011 - 2012 JMP Discretionary Budget, maintain effectively scheme delivery progress and mitigate financial risks.