The Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure and the Executive Director of Growth and Place submitted a report, the purpose of which was to approve the Highway Infrastructure Maintenance Plan.
The report outlined the changes in Highway Infrastructure Maintenance following a review in the UK Roads Liaison Group (UKRLG) Codes of Practice that provided advice on lighting, structures and highway maintenance for local highway authorities.
The report required an Individual Executive Member Decision because it set the Council's Highway Infrastructure Maintenance Plan in line with national guidance. This would establish a precedent for establishing maintenance regimes, and defending the Council's position against potential challenge beyond approval. There was a requirement that all Local Authorities gained Executive approval on this matter.
The Director of Regeneration reiterated that the Highway Infrastructure Maintenance Plan was part of the Council's legal protection framework, and stressed the importance of having a robust system that had adequate checks in place. The Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure requested that a note to reflect these comments be placed in the minutes.
Options - Other potential decisions and why these had not been recommended
Alternate options to approving the report were as follows:
Do not adopt the report - This would result in the Council not adhering to national guidelines, and therefore potentially result in legal challenge in the event of an accident or injury occurring on the highway network.
Approve the report but with changes - The report set out the approaches that the Council must have adhered to. Only full compliance would result in adherence to the national guidelines.
That the Highway Infrastructure Maintenance Plan be approved.
As Highway Authority, Middlesbrough Council had legal obligations with which it needed to comply, and which may be the subject of claims for loss or personal injury, or of legal action by those seeking to establish non-compliance by authorities. It was recognised that in such cases, the Code of Practice from which this plan was derived, may be considered to be a relevant consideration.
No further stakeholder or Scrutiny consultation was required; as Highway Authority, Middlesbrough Council had full responsibility for ensuring it was adopting a policy to maintain its own asset.