The Executive Member for Regeneration and the Director of Regeneration and Culture submitted a report for the Executive’s consideration. The purpose of the report was to seek approval to allocate funding to develop and deliver transport and infrastructure improvements.
Middlesbrough Council received Local Transport Plan (LTP) funding from the Department for Transport (DfT) via Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) to undertake maintenance and improvement works on the Council’s transport network.
The projects within the proposed programme had been identified from the Council’s ‘Future Year Scheme’ list - a compiled table of all known requirements and suggestions received, which were ranked for their suitability against a set criteria. That then formed the priority basis and was dependent upon external funding criteria, statutory obligations and other implications.
The maintenance schemes were based on asset condition rating systems and allocation of resources work to address ‘worst first’ was used. That was rationalised on the basis of public safety and asset longevity priorities (such as ensuring that structures were safe), ensuring the Council was addressing the areas of the network in most need of resolving.
The Council also received specific allocations through competitive grant programmes and awards that were provided to deliver prescribed pieces of work, which were dependent upon national/regional criteria. Any awards for such projects by-passed the scoring criteria, although that may be used to identify the most suitable candidates, and could be awarded throughout the year. The proposals within the submitted report included all known awarded allocations at time of approval, but those could be subject to change.
The full funding allocations used to identify the projects/programmes were detailed in Appendix 2 of the submitted report.
The other potential decisions that had not been recommended included:
1. Do nothing - that was not recommended as it would not have allowed the Council to allocate funding and make the necessary arrangements in advance of receipt of the allocations. The delivery of infrastructure improvements required prudent planning, and co-ordination, so approvals in a timely manner were pivotal to ensuring a successful delivery programme.
2. Re-assessing the project proposals - that was not recommended, as they had been identified using a scoring matrix to ensure best allocation of resources. Any changes would have deviated from the process, and added delays to progressing.
That the allocation of funding to develop and deliver infrastructure improvements, as outlined within the report, be approved.
It planned allow prudent allocation of funding to ensure that the Council was not only working toward its ambitions and objectives, but was allocating resources to ensure statutory requirements placed upon the Council as the Highway Authority, ‘to ensure the safe and expeditious movement of people and goods on its network’ were met.
The allocations that were being proposed were based on ensuring a balance between maintaining existing asset, and making improvements to the accessibility of the current network/alternate modes of transport enhancements. That balance was crucial in order to ensure the safety of the infrastructure, and to assist in encouraging sustainability of the network.