To consider and endorse, or make recommendations to the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport on a proposed decision to implement and publish “Our Approach to Asset Management in Highways”
Roger Wilkin (Director of Highways, Transportation and Waste), Andrew Loosemore (Head of Highways Asset Management) and Alan Casson (Road and Footway Asset Manager were in attendance for this item
(1) Mr Pearman (Deputy Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport) introduced the report which asked the Cabinet Committee to consider and endorse or make recommendations on the proposed decision.
(2) Mr Pearman said the development of an asset management approach to highways maintenance was essential as the government had changed its rules for funding local road maintenance to encourage local authorities to fully embed the use of asset management techniques into their management of highway maintenance and their decision-making around funding and priorities.
(3) Mr Pearman also thanked the officers and Members who had participated in the working group to develop the strategy.
(4) Officers said that the approach was necessary to ensure the current level of funding from the Department of Transport was maintained and that there was no additional funding on offer. It was also said that decisions relating to highway maintenance were currently taken using engineering data and annual surveys, however there was now a requirement to consider lifecycle costing and asset management. The condition of local roads and the funding of maintenance were national issues and not unique to Kent.
(5) Members supported the adoption of the asset management approach to highway maintenance but concerns were raised about the reduction in overall funding and the need to make information available to Members to enable them to deal with queries from residents.
(6) In response to questions and comments, officers gave the following information.
(i) A new Code of Practice entitled “Well-managed Highway Infrastructure had been introduced and local authorities had two years to implement it. The main change from existing guidance is a move from suggested standards to a risk based approach to dealing with highway maintenance. An officer group had been set up to understand and evaluate the implications for Kent. It was also explained that safety critical work on the highway was dealt with separately from the asset management approach.
(ii) A pro-forma for an asset management strategy had not been provided by government, however there tended to be a large degree of similarity across authorities.
(iii) Authorities were not required to provide evidence that they met a particular standard, however, their self-assessments had to be approved by the Section 151 officer and were subject to audit.
(7) Resolved that the proposed decision for the Implementation and Publication of Our Approach to Asset Management in Highways be endorsed.
To receive a report that updates Members on the work of the Asset Management Task and Finish Group and seeks endorsement of ‘Our Approach to Asset Management in Highways.
1. The Chairman of the Asset Management Task and Finish Group, Mr Pearman, introduced the report that updated Members on the work of the Asset Management Task and Finish Group and sought endorsement of “Our Approach to Asset Management in Highways”. He thanked the Members of the Task and Finish Group for all the work they had undertaken.
2. The Drainage and Interim Structures Asset Manager, Mrs Moreton, advised that this would focus on life cycle planning ie carriageways lifecycle planning to understand the different levels of investment. Mrs Moreton advised that a further report would be submitted to the Cabinet Committee. She sought Members endorsement of the two sided document “Our Approach to Asset Management in Highways”. This would then be incorporated in the Implementation Plan.
3. The following comments were noted
Ÿ Let us jump through the necessary hoops to receive this investment.
Ÿ Paragraph 4 of the report should be borne in mind regarding the EQiA.
4. RESOLVED that the comments made by Members be noted; and the document “Our Approach to Asset Management in Highways” be endorsed and recommended to the Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport for approval and publication on the County Council website.