Agenda and minutes

Local Highways Panel (See ECC website) - Tuesday 24th November 2009 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: Rebecca Perrin 

No. Item


Substitute Members

(Assistant to the Chief Executive) To report the appointment of any substitute members for the meeting.


There were no substitute members for the meeting.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 2 MB

To confirm the minutes of the last meeting of the Local Highways Panel held on 22 September 2009.




That the minutes of the meeting held on 22 September 2009 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record subject to the to the following amendment:


·         Panel Members Councillors Mrs C Pond, Mrs D Borton and A Purkiss had attended.


Matters Arising


There were no matters arising.


Terms of Reference pdf icon PDF 11 KB

To note the attached terms of reference.


That the terms of reference were noted.


Highways Maintenance Strategy pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To receive a presentation on the Highways Maintenance Strategy.


The panel received a presentation from the County Roads Manager, Lawrence McKeogh reporting on the Highways Maintenance Strategy.


The County Roads Manger advised that Essex County Council (ECC) objectives for highways revolved around yearly “Essex Works” pledges, Customer feed back, National Directives & Campaigns, Strategy & Policies. The ECC pledge for 2009/10 had been determined for 2009/10 to improve residential streets and that a total budget of £10 million pounds had been allocated for highways across the County.


The County Roads Manager determined the allocation of capital and revenue funding across the County which would allow for the Area Highway Managers to allocate funding to particular schemes, owing to their local knowledge. The County Manager discussed the Maintenance Strategy 2008 document, which had been formulated by the County Manager and adhered to by all area offices in ensuring the road conditions for the whole County network undergo regular reviews. He then went on to give an overview of maintenance treatment types and the performance indicator to which ECC aspire. 


The Chairman thanked the county Roads Manager for attending.


Councillor R Frankel enquired how the ECC determined good value for money and whether they had considered liaising with other countries regarding alternative road treatments. The County Roads Manager advised that the contracts had undergone a through tender process and had been negotiated by trained officers to provide value for money. With regards to liaising with other countries, ECC Officers attended European conferences and meetings, to investigate treatments being developed and delivered worldwide.


Councillor Mrs P Richardson asked who inspected the works carried out and how many contractors were involved. The County Roads Manager advised that May Gurney and Ringway had been contracted to deliver the highway maintenance schemes. The inspections of works would be carried out by the Officers in the District and managed within their workload.


Councillor J Whitehouse enquired about the type of treatments used on footways and roads being similar and whether funding for the road networks were assessed on the volume of traffic, due to the Districts proximity to the M25. The County Roads Manager advised that criteria for the maintenance and repair were primarily based on road length and population within the town or village, which enabled more of an evenly distributed funding of schemes across the County. The treatments on footways and roads had similarities, yet the method applied would be determined by the existing condition.


Councillor K Angold-Stephens raised issues about the prevention of damage to footways brought about by heavy goods vehicles in Debden Estate. The County Roads Manager advised that he could not comment completely, owing to the problem being a traffic related issue, however parking restrictions or alterations in the footpath construction could be considered. All issues should be referred to the Area Highways Manager for investigation.


Local Highways Panel Report pdf icon PDF 126 KB

To receive a report from the Essex Highways Officer (report to follow).


The panel received a presentation from the Highways Liaison Officer, Rosa Tanfield reporting on highways issues within Epping Forest District. The majority of capital funded highway maintenance schemes had been completed and the capital budget for 2009/10 had been fully committed.


The County Council Cabinet member for highways and transportation, Councillor Norman Hume had provisionally approved an additional £4 million pounds of capital finance for highways maintenance in 2009/10, which would provide Epping Forest District with £659,000 for schemes.


The Highways Liaison Officer updated members regarding Improvements, Safer Roads Programme, Public Rights of Way and Passenger Transport Improvements, Localism Budget, Area Parking Reviews, Developer funded schemes and the Epping Forest Transport Strategy.


The Community Initiative Fund bidding process for 2009/10 had now closed and twenty applications had been received from the Epping Forest District. Officers would now carry out the viability analysis and estimates to be submitted with the applications, which would be judged in March/April 2010.


The Highways Liaison Officer advised members that the budget for the highways rangers service had been reduced County wide, resulting in the highways rangers  ceasing within the Epping Forest District in November 2009. Members commented on the disappointment at the lost of the Highways Rangers service and when the service resumes in the next financial year, members would like more control over the work schedule and timing.


The Area Highways Manager, West Essex, David Forkin advised that the Highways Rangers service had been given a 12 month funding allocation, however the funding had been reduced and ECC were only able to provide 6 months. The programme of the Rangers had been split equally between Epping Forest District Council and Harlow Council for 2008/9. Neither the Epping Forest Panel nor the Harlow Panel had been established, and in order to utilise the budget and ensure that the District benefited from this initiative, it had been arranged for them to commence work, ahead of the Panel. Now that the 6 months had passed, the service had now transferred to Harlow, where their Panel had been set up within the last month.


Councillor Mrs D Borton raised concerns about Dobbs Weir and heavy vehicular traffic through Nazeing. The Area Highways Manager advised that an increased area wide weight restriction would be progressed, which would hopefully redirect heavy vehicle traffic onto more appropriate routes.


Councillor J Whitehouse enquired about the street lighting policy with regards to column defects and queried why ward members had not been re-consulted after collation of the surveys for the Epping Parking review. The Area Highways Manager  advised that replacement of columns and lights would be prioritised depending on the location i.e. near junctions, pedestrian crossings etc. The County Officer had not been aware that Ward Members would want to comment after the consultation responses had been received. Once responses had been received by the residents, the information would  compiled and summarised so that Officers would be able to  make appropriate recommendations on the comments received.


Councillor K Angold-Stephens commented on the street  ...  view the full minutes text for item 31.


Programme of Works 2010/11 pdf icon PDF 1 MB

To consider the responses from Essex County Council for suggested Highway schemes.

Additional documents:


The Area Highways Manager presented the panel Members with the Officers assessments of the programme of works 2010/11 for Carriageways, Footways and Traffic Improvement requests. The programme contained references to the Parish and Town Councils’ requests and other works that the ECC Officers had identified and suggestions previously received.


The schedules of highway and footway maintenance had been ranked in priority order 1 – 5; 1 being those identified that had extensive, potholing, wheel tracking, skid deficiency or patching, through to 5 being identified that had required maintenance in approximately 10 years or more.


The schedules for traffic improvements had been prioritised by a traffic light system with red being a priority.


Each scheme identified by Parish and Town Councils for carriageways, footways and traffic improvements had been acknowledged in the Officers comments column.


The Area Highways Manager explained that the budget would dictate the amount of schemes that would be included in 2009/10 programme of works. He requested that the panel agree for all the priority 1 and 2 schemes, to be costed and assessed for the next meeting.


Members raised concerns about the timescale they had been given to consider the schemes and that the schemes would need to be viewed, but agreed that the priorities 1 and 2 schemes could be assessed and costed for the next meeting. Members enquired whether the schemes could be rearranged if required. The Area Highways Manager advised that the schemes had been quickly assessed in time for this Local Highways Panel meeting and that recommendations could be made.


Councillor Mrs E Webster advised that due to the new set up of the panel, that Members should perhaps rely on the Officers opinions and incorporate schemes afterwards, depending on the budget.


Councillor J Whitehouse enquired whether repairs, dips in and similar damage in footways would be picked up if a slurry seal were applied. The Area Highways Manager advised minor repairs, such as regulating, would be completed prior to the slurry seal application.


Councillor R Frankel enquired about the pedestrian crossing requested in North Weald. The Area Highways Manager advised that they had been liaising with North Weald Parish Council about the pedestrian crossing and were awaiting comments regarding the purchase of land.


Councillor Mrs J Whitehouse asked who could make Highways applications. The Area Highways Manager advised that anyone could make an application for a Highways Scheme but members may wish to contact the local Council to confirm whether they had already to raise the scheme. The Director of Environment and Street Scene advised that the highways forms had been placed in the Members bulletin after the last meeting, but late submissions would be considered.


Councillor Mrs C Pond requested a historical copy of requested schemes to identify whether the Highways officers had received all the Parish and Town requests and how they had been prioritised.




1.         Agreed that 1 & 2 priority ranked schemes would be costed, including late submissions for the next meeting. 


2.         Officers would supply the panel  ...  view the full minutes text for item 32.


Damage to highway surfaces through Consented development

The Director of Environment & Street Scene to report on concerns raised by the Local Councils Liaison Committee on the damage to highways surfaces through consented development and to consider whether EFDC or ECC would take enforcement action.


The Director of Environment & Street Scene informed the panel that after consulting the Planning Department they felt that repairs to the highways surfaces through consented development would be an inappropriate to of planning conditions. The Area Highways Manager advised that developers would be requested to leave the highways and footways in the condition they had been found. He requested that officers from the County and District work together to find solution.


Any Other Business


Councillor R Frankel enquired about the results of traffic surveys carried out throughout the District and whether officers could supply the records. The Highways Manager advised that not all surveys would be carried out by the County Council but any that had, they would supply the panel.


Councillor A Boyce asked whether local farmers would be allowed to clear roads and pathways, if snow fall were similar to February 2009. The Area Highways Manager advised that the highways officers do use local farmers to clear roads under contract and within the winter schedule work loads but not if they are not contracted.


Councillor R Frankel asked whether officers attend ever planning application when commenting on planning applications The Area Highways Manager advised that officers advise on large developments only, due to the impact of traffic in the local area and the safety issues.


Date of Next Meeting

Tuesday 26 January 2010, Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Epping.


Noted that the next meeting would be held on Tuesday 26 January 2009 in the Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Epping.