Councillor Maney stated he was pleased to be presenting his first Portfolio Holder report and updated members on the services as part of this portfolio, the successes and the future plans:
• The Council maintained and managed road networks that were fit for purpose.
• The Capital Programme had seen 19 roads been resurfaced so far this year.
• 1156 network inspections had taken place.
• 3285 pot holes had been repaired.
• 98% of those pot holes repairs had been carried out within agreed timeframes.
• Updates on the successes of the Clean It Cut It Fill It initiatives.
• 629 gullies had already been attended between January and August 2019.
• £1m of funding had become available this year to deliver the Kerb It scheme.
• Kerb It scheme would be explored into other areas.
• £971,000 investment in the Integrated Transport Block which will deliver improvements in the Council’s priority areas across the borough and work to continue to install the long-awaited east-facing slip roads at the A126 junction of the A13.
• The broad range of exceptional education and practical road safety initiatives.
• Priority given on the safety of school children.
• Enforcement – should be firm but fair.
• Pilot of new means of enforcement such as CCTV and create width restrictions.
• Address HGVs parking on pathways.
• Parking Permit Schemes had been reviewed and recommended.
• Committed to 2-way traffic scheme in Grays town centre.
• Winter gritting will be monitored.
Councillor Maney stated he would be happy to speak individually to residents or Members outside of the meeting.
Councillor Kerin, as chair of the Planning Transport and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Committee, thanked the Portfolio Holder for the report but questioned whether the Portfolio Holder agreed that the number of Civil Enforcement Officers should be increased. Councillor Maney stated he was passionate about enforcement with enforcement rules in place and that any surplus monies would be reinvested. The current enforcement team was small with the Portfolio Holder agreeing to support an increase should there be a need for the team to expand.
Councillor Pothecary questioned whether the Administration were determined to see that the key transport projects being undertaken in the borough were finished. Councillor Maney stated that the Administration were determined to deliver and was confident that the major undertakings would be finished with Officers leading on these projects.
Councillor Spillman stated that the A13 widening project had been poorly managed and asked the Portfolio Holder how much the project was over budget and delayed by. Councillor Maney stated that delays had occurred as costs had spiralled but confirmed that the right people were now in place to put this project back on track with the focus to deliver the project as quickly as possible.
Councillor Duffin questioned progress on the Stanford Le Hope rail station and asked for an update when the project would start and projected completion times.
Councillor Fletcher questioned whether there was money available to implement the Kerb It scheme into other areas of the borough.
Councillor Okunade commented on the poor condition of the roads in the borough.
Councillor Allen questioned whether there was any plans for the bus stop near Bretts Farm in Tilbury to be closed as this was currently being used for parked HGVs and trailers.
Councillor Ralph questioned why the Stanford le Hope rail station had been knocked down before final plans had been in place.
Councillor Coxshall referenced the funding for the A13 East Facing Slips Scheme.
Councillor Coxshall also referred Members to the opportunity created by the Government to address other congestion points across the borough but relied on Members to be involved in the submission of an expression of interest.
Councillor Collins stated that since the speed camera system had been implemented in Southend Road in Stanford le Hope traffic was now speeding down Branksome Avenue and questioned whether extra speed cameras could be installed down this road.
Councillor Maney thanked Members for their comments and responded as follows:
Councillor Duffin was advised that the project could have been managed better but this was before his time as Portfolio Holder. Councillor Maney stated he had now been fully briefed and confirmed there had been problems with the acquisition of land. Members were reassured that the project would be delivered as soon as possible.
Councillor Fletcher was advised that there had been an overspend and hoped there may be surplus in the budget as more schemes were required and that capital bids had been made for more Kerb It schemes.
Councillor Okunade was advised that daily inspections took place and defects repaired as found and advised Councillor Okunade that she should report any defects in her ward to Officers.
Councillor Allen was also advised to report any illegal parking.
Councillor Coxshall was thanked for his comments and would support the initiatives.
Councillor Collins was advised that debates had taken place whether traffic was now using Branksome Avenue but agreed this road would be assessed.