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Issue - meetings

Enhanced Highway Maintenance

Meeting: 12/07/2022 - Cabinet (Item 69)

69 Enhanced Highway Maintenance

    Report of the Chief Executive

 

 

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste, Street Scene and Flooding presented a report seeking further investment in highway maintenance with a view to improving safety and the appearance of the highway network.

 

Cllr Dr McClelland explained that the appearance of Wiltshire’s roads and verges is important to the public and local communities, but with funding limitations it has not always been possible to deliver the desired levels of routine maintenance on the network as safety maintenance has had to take priority. Road marking, gully emptying, and enforcement action on fly-tipping are areas where in recent years funding has been less than historical levels and consequently the condition and appearance of the network has suffered.

Cabinet noted that in order to address this issue it is proposed to increase funding on these three areas by £683,000 annually over the next three years to improve the safety and appearance of the highway network.

 

Cllr Jerry Kunkler, Chairman of the Environment Select Committee, confirmed that he had received a briefing on 11 July 2022. Cllr Kunkler welcomed the increased investment in the areas detailed in the report and confirmed that he endorsed the proposals being considered.

 

Cllr Ian Thorn welcomed the additional investment and also highlighted that alongside the issue of potholes, there is a need for additional funding to improve the condition of footpaths, especially for those in wheelchairs and using pushchairs, although he did recognise the role of the Local Highway and Footpath Improvements Group (LHFIG). In response, Cllr Dr McClelland explained that maintenance of potholes came from the general fund. He also referred to the role of the LHFIG and its recent budget increase, but did recognise that the LHFIG budget was limited and this may need to be considered further for the 2023/24 budget. 

 

Cllr Tony Jackson congratulated Cllr Dr McClelland for the additional investment especially at a time of high financial pressures. He asked about the process for prioritising the emptying of gullies and referred to the Lotto Litter scheme to encourage people to dispose of litter in bins. In response, Cllr Dr McClelland and officers referred to the programme of gully maintenance and the criteria for prioritising workflows.

 

Cllr Rich Rogers welcomed the proposals and asked if further consideration could be given to extending the level of funding for this important area over a longer period.  In response, Cllr Dr McClelland reminded the Cabinet that all funding requests are considered together during the budget process.

 

Resolved:

 

That for the years 20222/23, 2023/24 and 2024/25:

 

(i)             The budget for road markings and lining be increased by £200,000 annually.

 

(ii)           The budget for gully emptying be increased by £333,000 annually.

 

(iii)         The budget for fly-tipping enforcement be increased by £150,000 annually

 

Reason for Decision:

 

The appearance of our roads and verges is important to the public and local communities and the proposed increase in investment of over £2 million will see a substantial improvement in the safety and appearance of Wiltshire’s highway network.

 

 


 

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