To consider the following Environment, Cleansing and Waste related reports scheduled for Cabinet consideration on 28 July 2021:
• Council Highway Inspection Policy
The O&S Board is asked to scrutinise the reports and make recommendations to Cabinet as appropriate.
Cabinet member invited to attend for this item: Councillor Mark Anderson, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Cleansing and Waste
The Cabinet report for this item is included with the agenda for consideration by the Overview and Scrutiny Board.
Council Highway Inspection Policy - The Portfolio Holder for Environment, Cleansing and Waste presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'C' to these minutes in the Minute Book. The Portfolio Holder outlined the main issues within the report and responded to a number of issues raised by the Board including:
· The network hierarchy was based on how important places are to the network but was the likely risk of flooding also taken into account. It was noted that this was a fairly complex situation. FCERM – Flood and Coastal Risk Management team liaise with Wessex water on capacity issues of the network The Portfolio Holder urged anyone who had been flooded to advise the flooding manager who would ensure that preventative action was taken concerning the drainage network.
· The flooding forecast reaction was based on forecast weather but was there a protocol in place to ensure that areas prone to flooding were proactively checked to ensure drains and gullies were clear. Additional gully cleansing equipment had been procured. There was only capacity to inspect around a third to half of gullies on the network and it can be complex to work on these including closing roads. Gully inspectors would identify areas of the network which may cause additional problems.
· What was meant by White Line Inspections being reactive only. These were inspected visually by highways inspectors. Special devices attached to a vehicle check how reflective white lines are at night-time. This had just been undertaken and results were awaited.
· Defective signs which were missing, illegible or damaged, would it be possible to clean some of the signs as they were currently given a low priority but looked awful. As part of the Safer Cleaner Greener Strategy there would be additional funding for cleaning signs and there was also a plan in place to look at which signs were a priority.
· Sink holes appeared to be becoming a more common occurrence and whether anything needed to be changed to reflect an increased risk. The Board was advised that there was no recorded increase in sinkholes, and these tended to be random.
· Concern was raised about the inspection routine for footpaths and cycleways in terms of things being overgrown and the priority given to dealing with potholes on the cycle network. The Council were attempting to address this by inspectors walking the network which would hopefully lead to them identifying more of these issues.
· Pavements had been ruined by incremental works done to residential properties. This was a problem which was difficult to rectify particularly as it was difficult to identify who was responsible for damage occurring. In some instances, developers came forward to put things right, but this was not always the case.
· Line painting was necessary in a number of areas around the conurbation. A new contractor had been appointed in May of this year and they were more receptive than previous contractors but there was a lot of work which was needed on this.
· Whether there was now an integrated highways management system for all parts of the conurbation. The Portfolio Holder advised that the Council was working towards this there was a common system for Poole and Christchurch and Bournemouth had now been added to the system so work and knowledge could be shared. It was confirmed that there was an aspiration to work towards a single system linked with the ‘report it’ online tool.
The Chairman thanked the Portfolio Holder and Officers for the report and noted that the O&S Board appeared to be broadly in support.