Agenda item

Select Committee Review: Highways Resurfacing Review: Attaining Best Practice and Value For The Council's Highways Resurfacing Activities


The Democratic Services Officer introduced the item noting that the Committee was coming to the closing stages of its major review into attaining best practice and value for the Council’s Highways Resurfacing Programme. The bulk of the review had consisted of witness sessions with stakeholders including contractors and internal officers, and a site visit to observe a reactive maintenance road repair. The Committee were invited to discuss their findings from the review and to finalise the recommendations arising that would be taken forward to Cabinet through the Committee’s final report, which would be due to come to a Select Committee meeting in the coming months. It was also noted that this item had been deferred from the Committee’s previous meeting as Councillors Chapman and Money were unable to attend the previous meeting, and as key Members of the Committee throughout the review, it was felt that their presence would be beneficial to putting together the Committee’s findings.


The Committee’s attention was drawn to page 11 of agenda pack A where a list of initial areas for potential recommendations arising from the review based on the Committee’s discussions and debate throughout had been appended to the report. The Committee were asked whether they were in agreement that the listed ideas should be taken forward into their final report top Cabinet. Members were generally in agreement that the ideas listed should be taken forward as recommendations and particular attention was given to proposed recommendation regarding engagement and communication with residents and ward councillors.


The Chairman highlighted the good work that had gone into the review so far however noted that the report should mention the Committee’s disappointment that the Council’s Rhino Patch reactive roadway maintenance machines had come to the end of their working life, with just one machine in a usable state, which was to be replaced as replacement parts for the machine were no longer being manufactured leading to the machine’s impending obsolescence. The Corporate Director for Place confirmed that replacement technologies had been explored by officers and Cabinet Member agreement had been obtained to purchase replacement reactive maintenance roadway resurfacing machines. The Committee expressed an interest in receiving information on the newly purchased resurfacing technologies with the prospect of organising a site visit to observe the new machines. Officers confirmed that the new machines were expected to be delivered in July, and that operatives would be commencing training throughout August and September, it was suggested that the Committee’s site visit could be scheduled for September or October 2023.


The Committee took the opportunity to query whether some of the new resurfacing materials discussed throughout the review had gone into regular use following trials within the Borough. Officers confirmed that the new resurfacing materials, including Warm Mixed Asphalt, had been trialled in a small number of locations throughout the Borough, and officers were currently monitoring the performance of the roadways before expanding implementation of the new product.


With regard to the resurfacing of footways, the Committee sought some additional information in relation to how the protrusion of tree roots was accounted for and what relationship there was between the Highways Resurfacing Team and the Green Spaces Team to ensure the issue was mitigated effectively. Officers confirmed that the Highways Team regularly consulted with the Green Spaces Team, specifically ahead of the resurfacing programme being agreed, regarding how to handle tree root protrusions and ensuring that appropriate trees were planted adjacent to the Borough’s footways. The Committee were minded to raise this point within their final report to Cabinet as it was important that due consideration was given to tree root protrusion.


RESOLVED: That the Select Committee commented on and suggested potential recommendations to be included within the final report to Cabinet.

Supporting documents: