West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2015-11-03
End date: 2015-12-14
Results: 2016-03-03
ARCHIVED

[ARCHIVED] Budget Proposal 2016/17 - Phase One: Highways Maintenance

Part of the range of West Berkshire Council's budget proposals for 2016/17, with supporting information and Equality Impact Assessments

If you haven't already seen our video explaining why these changes are being proposed, please visit our Budget Proposals 2016/17 webpage.

Background

Under the Highways Act 1980 the council (as Highway Authority) has a duty to maintain its local road network, which extends to some 1280km.

To achieve this, we have a revenue works budget of £2.875m, covering activities such as patching, drainage repairs, gully emptying, bridge maintenance, winter gritting and dealing with highway emergencies such as flooding, dealing with road traffic accidents, fallen trees and other storm or adverse weather damage.


Proposal

We are proposing to reduce the following areas of expenditure:

           

% of budget

Road patching

£100,000

20%

Highway emergencies

£150,000

24%

Highway drainage

£100,000

23%

Winter gritting

£70,000

10%

Gully emptying

£67,000

34%

Reactive maintenance

£40,000

24%

Bridge maintenance

£25,000

10%

Total Reduction

£522,000

19%


What do we think the impact will be?

The impact of making a £552,000 reduction (19% of budget) in highway maintenance activities is likely to result in an increase in potholes and an increase in the amount of surface water present due to reduced gully emptying frequencies and less drainage repairs.

In the winter months there will be a 10% reduction in the length of road gritted when frost is forecast. In addition, grit bins will no longer be provided and refilled by the council. It will be a matter for town and parish councils to decide whether they would like to fund additional bins, or the refilling of existing bins from November 2016.


What else have we considered in arriving at our proposal?

Given the duty on the council to maintain its road network (including a duty to 'ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, that safe passage along a highway is not endangered by snow and ice'), it is difficult to find areas for savings that do not impact on this duty. We are mindful that our capital spend on resurfacing roads has increased in recent years and overall, road condition has improved. This may mean a reduced demand on revenue maintenance budgets in future, although this will also be dependent on weather conditions.


This consultation is now closed.

What you told us

We received 45 responses to this consultation.

We have condensed all your comments into the 'Summary of Responses' and everything you said, word for word, is contained in 'Verbatim Responses'.

These can be found in 'Documents' below.

What we did

A recommendation on how to proceed with this proposal was made to the Executive Members on 11 February 2016.

This can also be found below in 'Overview and Recommendation'.

Following this, at the Full Council Meeting on 1 March 2016, all Members discussed this proposal as part of setting the Revenue Budget for 2016/17.

At the vote, the budget was agreed with the suggested amendments.

It was agreed to proceed with this proposal.

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