The Leader and Cabinet voted to
extend standing orders.
Councillor Maney introduced the report and stated that it provided an update on the national allocation of funding to support active travel schemes. He drew Cabinet’s attention to point 3.4 which outlined the active travel plans, and highlighted that public engagement would help to shape the delivery of the programme. He stated that the active travel scheme had been devised by central government during the pandemic to increase cycling opportunities and improve footpaths, to ensure people could access more sustainable travel. He explained that Thurrock had submitted their bid last year, and the Secretary of State for Transport had agreed to give Thurrock £690,000 in tranche 2, on top of the £280,000 which had already been received during tranche 1. He explained that the schemes listed only included an indicative cost, which was very approximate, as no design work or consultation had been undertaken. He added that the schemes listed in the report exceeded the government funding allocation, but explained that this was deliberate as the Council could then present a broad range of schemes to the public, which could then be funded through a Section 106 Agreement or other funding streams if necessary. He summarised and stated that government were also considering a tranche 3 of the scheme, and any additional schemes outlined in the report could potentially be funded through later tranches.
Councillor Halden stated that he was a ward councillor in Homesteads and felt pleased to see that £250,000 investment could come to his ward. He felt pleased to see that the scheme provided space for a cycling route which would make roads less obstructed and improve safety for cyclists. He thanked Councillor Maney and the team for their hard work on the report, and questioned whether the Branksome Avenue project would be funded through tranche 2. Councillor Maney highlighted point 2.3 of the report which explained how the team had arrived at the proposed schemes, which included through resident and cycling groups comments, and ward councillors feedback. He thanked Councillor Halden and Councillor Collins for their dedication to their ward, and to the Branksome Avenue scheme, which would be funded through tranche 2 if it approved by residents, officers and the Portfolio Holder.
The Leader felt it was good to see a bank of schemes in draft, which could be ready to go if further funding became available. He felt that if some of the projects within the scheme were funded through a Section 106 agreement, this report would increase Section 106 transparency.
RESOLVED: That Cabinet:
1. Approved the approach to develop and implement a programme of Active Travel Tranche 2 schemes.
2. Approved the engagement and consultation process required to inform the Tranche 2 programme.
3. Approved the requirement to delegate authority to the Director of Place, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, to review and make local changes to the Active Travel Tranche 2 programme taking into account local views and priorities.
Reason for decision: as outlined in report.
This decision is subject to call-in.