Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel Minutes

Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel Minutes

Date:
Wednesday 13 December 2017
Time:
10:30 a.m.
Place:
Spencer Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Storey, (Chair), Arundale, Branson, Higgins, Lewis, McGloin, Saunders, Walters
Officers:
D Carter, S Lightwing, I McConville, C Orr
Apologies for absence:
were submitted on behalf of Councillor Hussain
Declarations of interest:

There were no Declarations of Interest at this point in the meeting.

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
17/20 MINUTES - ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE SCRUTINY PANEL - 8 NOVEMBER 2017

The minutes of the meeting of the Economic Development and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel held on 8 November 2017 were taken as read and approved.

17/21 LED LIGHTING

The Maintenance and Operations Manager, Infrastructure Programme Manager, Head of Transport and Infrastructure and the Contract Manager from Galliford Try were in attendance at the meeting to provide further information in relation to the Council’s LED Invest to Save Replacement Programme.

 

The proposal to implement the project was made in 2014 by the Head of Service in response to a Central Government directive for all Local Authorities to reduce energy usage. A cost benefit analysis was undertaken at that time which fed into the Invest to Save Programme.

 

The project was intended to replace all existing street lighting units with LED lamps at a total cost of £7.5 million for approximately 22,000 units of varying types. Other lighting such as for signs, subways and bollards was not part of the project.

 

Following a bidding process, funding of £5 million was awarded from the Council’s Invest to Save Programme. The reduced amount of funding meant that only 70% of the project could be completed in the first phase rather than the whole 100%.

 

At the same time as the bid for funding, there was a direction from the Mayor at that time to deliver an enhanced highway maintenance programme. The Service Area bid for £15 million over 3 years and was awarded for £10 million. There was pressure to make savings and pressure on capital funding for regeneration in the town. All the bids that were submitted were reduced. Funding for capital highways works was usually from Central Government Capital Grants such as the LTP Highway Maintenance block allocation.  Service Areas also seek other grant funding sources that are available. It was noted that the pay-back period for the LED lighting project was estimated at 12 years.

 

Phase 1 of the project was designed to reduce energy usage as much as possible and as quickly as possible. The Contractor held regular meetings with the Council and Neighbourhood Safety Teams to agree which areas would be included in Phase 1 of the scheme. Areas with slightly higher incidence of the crime and anti-social behaviour were selected initially. The required savings were also considered in terms of some areas that had been over lit in previous years. Some lamps could be reduced by two classes, thus saving energy costs whilst still maintaining British Standards.

 

The projected cost for completion of Phase 2 of the project was £3.9 million to replace the remaining 30% of the fittings. It was highlighted that this figure appeared disproportionate to the £5 million spent to replace 70% of the fittings in Phase 1.

 

It was explained that the type of fittings used on Phase 1 were predominantly 20 and 22 LEDs, which replaced the 70 watt lamps and cost £350 per unit. This provided approximately 50 watt reduction in energy use per unit which contributed to achieving the target to reduce energy usage as much as possible. Phase 2 of the project would replace the rest of the stock, the majority of which included the larger units costing approximately £750 each, although there were also still some smaller units to replace.

 

Newer technology had also improved the LEDs efficiency capabilities however the newer models were more expensive to purchase. The new LEDs had a 10 year guarantee but were predicted to have a 20 year life span. In addition, some of the fittings had to be changed because they were not compatible with the new LEDs and some were now obsolete. There was also a chemical risk from some of the old fittings.  Galliford Try had previously purchased cheaper LEDs imported from China, however these had not proved to be good value for money as they had not lasted as long.

 

It was confirmed that discussions were underway regarding financing Phase 2 of the project. It was anticipated that it might be phased over one or two years. It was also noted however that there was a highways maintenance backlog. The Tees Valley Combined Authority received £59 million of government funding in the last budget and the Council would try to access this funding source. 

AGREED as follows that:

1.  the information provided was received and noted.

2.  the Terms of Reference for the Review were approved as follows:

     a) To consider progress made to date with Middlesbrough’s LED replacement lighting scheme.

     b) To examine the existing budget provision and actual and projected savings.

     c) To assess the potential impact of the new lighting with regard to community safety.

3.  a draft Final Report on the LED Replacement Lighting Scheme would be presented at the next meeting for consideration by the Panel.

17/22 TEES VALLEY STRATEGIC TRANSPORT PLAN INCLUDING BUS FRANCHISING

The Head of Transport and Infrastructure was in attendance to provide information regarding Local Implementation Plans (LIPs) in relation to the Tees Valley Strategic Transport Plan.

 

The Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) was the Strategic Transport Authority for the Combined Authority and was currently developing a Strategic Transport Plan which was due for publication in summer 2018. The Strategic Transport Plan included overarching strategies for rail, road, bus, freight and sustainable modes.  There would also be supporting daughter documents developed by individual local authorities, one of this is a Local Implementation Plan or LIP.  This would be an evolving document that was intended to take into consideration the Strategic Transport Plan and how it could be implemented on a more local level.  These considerations would previously have been part of individual Authorities' Local Transport Plans (LTPs).

 

Local Authorities’ Local Transport Plans (LTPs) had been existence for about 20 years and were the more local documents that contained aspirations for walking, cycling, highway maintenance plans, policies on transport and sustainable transport measures. The LTP used to be a statutory document which was produced annually in order to access funding from the Integrated Transport Block (ITB). The ITB provided funding for priorities identified in the LTP such as a new roundabouts.

 

The TVCA’s Strategic Transport Plan will include a number of supporting documents in which the five Local Authorities identify their local priorities. These are the Local Implementation Plans (LIPs). The TVCA has issued a suggested template for the LIPs and each Local Authority will develop their own LIP.

 

The Strategic Transport Plan will be consulted on early in the new year 2018 and the final outcomes would influence how the LIPs develop. Officers are currently in the process of developing Middlesbrough’s draft LIP. The Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure will initially be consulted on the draft LIP and the document can then be consulted on more widely.

 

Whilst the TVCA took the lead on the Strategic Transport Plan, the final document issued would be by agreement with the five Local Authorities through the existing governance arrangements. Both the Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure and the Mayor were members of the TVCA’s Transport Board along with other Members and Officers from the constituent authorities.

 

Similarly, the Bus Strategy would be agreed through the normal mechanisms for approval and it was likely that all the five Local Authorities would be signed up to the final proposal. It was noted that the Tees Valley Mayor was not empowered to enforce policy without the agreement of the Local Authority Leaders.

 

The Chair commented that during the course of this review the Panel had heard expert opinion and different points of view. In respect of the Bus Strategy, there was compelling evidence for both franchising and partnership. The Panel’s recommendations would inform the Mayor and the Executive Member for Economic Development and Infrastructure in their discussions with the TVCA.

 

AGREED as follows that:
1. the information provided was received and noted.
2. a draft Final Report on the Tees Valley Strategic Transport Plan including Bus Franchising would be presented at the next meeting for consideration by the Panel.

17/23 OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY BOARD UPDATE

The Chair gave a verbal update on the items considered at the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting held on 12 December 2017, which included a presentation from the Chief Executive and an update on Apprenticeships.

 

NOTED

17/24 ANY OTHER URGENT ITEMS WHICH IN THE OPINION OF THE CHAIR, MAY BE CONSIDERED

The Chair advised that the next meeting of the Economic Development and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel would take place on 10 January 2018.  Items for the Agenda would include: An update on Albert Road Regeneration, a draft Final Report on the LED Lighting Replacement Scheme and a draft Final Report on the Tees Valley Strategic Transport Plan Including Bus Franchising.

 

In response to a request from a Panel Member, the Democratic Services Officer agreed to arrange a site visit to Albert Road in advance of the next meeting.

 

The Chair also informed the Panel that he had recently met with the newly appointed Director of Regeneration and discussed the Panel's Work Programme 2017/2018.

 

AGREED that the next topic from the Panel's Work Programme would be:  Housing development and associated infrastructure.

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