Local highways schemes across Essex delayed

October 24, 2013 5:20 PM

Worried highways officersThe vast majority of local highways schemes agreed at District/Borough Highways Panels across Essex in the year 2012/13 were not delivered, it has been revealed.

Cabinet Member for Highways Rodney Bass decided to reallocate the money and that decision was "called in" by Essex Lib Dem Highways spokesman Stephen Robinson for a review.

Essex County Councillors on the Place Services Scrutiny Committee met last Thursday (24 October) to question Cllr Bass.

Cllr Robinson told the meeting, "Liberal Democrat councillors are very concerned to learn that just £0.7 million of the £8 million allocated across the 12 District panels was spent.

"This appears to be because there are not enough technical and engineering staff to design schemes once they have been approved. In their efforts to outsource so many of the council's functions, the Conservative-run council has gone too far."

Cllr Bass told the meeting that many of the 2012/13 schemes were delayed rather than deleted. However, Lib Dem Stephen Robinson pointed out that, even if they are delivered in 2013/14, any new decisions made in in 2013/14 are not going to be delivered until 2014/15 at the earliest. So they are always going to be at least a year behind.

The same meeting also discussed concerns about the new processes for agreeing yellow lines and residents parking schemes. Brentwood Lib Dems Barry Aspinell and David Kendall told the meeting that the new arrangements were not serving Brentwood at all well.

A working group was set up to consider whether the joint County and District/Borough Councils committee for parking is working effectively.

Further information

The Cabinet Decision on Highways Panel budgets (PDF) is here (reports tab).

The overview of the 2012/13 outturn is at para 3.3 and how this affects each District/Borough is at para 3.6.