Bath & North East Somerset Council
Cllr Malcolm Hanney, Cabinet Member for Resources
On or after 31st October 2009
Technical approval of Customer Services and D&MP capital projects for 2009/10 not yet approved by Council
EXECUTIVE FORWARD PLAN REFERENCE:
AN OPEN PUBLIC ITEM
List of attachments to this report:
Appendix 1: Paving Plan for Westgate Street
1 THE ISSUE
1.1 The Public Realm and Movement Strategy (PRMS) for Bath City Centre recommends that natural stone pennant paving is used as the primary paving material within Bath city centre. The Strategy acknowledges that this approach can only be delivered on an incremental basis as funding allows.
1.2 The repaving of footways on Westgate Street is programmed as part of this year's planned highways maintenance works (FY2009/10). These works will only currently deliver a concrete slab paving solution. An opportunity exists to upgrade the quality of paving on footways at Westgate Street from concrete to reclaimed pennant stone. This would result in a more attractive and unified surface treatment of the footways within Westgate Street and St Michaels Place and represent an initial stage in the incremental delivery of the Strategy.
1.3 The upgrade to the planned maintenance work will require budget approval of £60k within the Council's capital programme for 2009/10 for the proposed public realm improvements in Bath city centre.
1.4 This report has been prepared as an urgent item in order to respond to a deadline in the Highways team's Term Maintenance Contract with Atkins. The release of the report has been agreed in consultation with the Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny Panel for Enterprise and Economic Development.
The Cabinet member is asked to agree that:
2.1 The budget for upgrade of planned maintenance work on repaving Westgate Street using reclaimed pennant stone is approved within the Council's Capital Programme for 2009/10 at the estimated cost of £60k from the £600k unallocated capital receipts.
3 FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS
3.1 The expected spend on the works is £60k which will take place between January and March 2010, with the timing of the decision required to schedule the work into the term contractors 2009/10 programme. The spend will enhance the base scheme (Westgate Street) funded from the Capital Local Transport Plan Structural Fund which is approved under the highways maintenance & improvement works programme.
3.2 The capital spend will be funded by unallocated capital receipts; there are no ongoing revenue implications in excess of current maintenance.
4 CORPORATE PRIORITIES
Building communities where people feel safe and secure
Addressing the causes and effects of Climate Change
Improving transport and the public realm
5 THE REPORT
5.1 The key issues are outlined in Section 1 above. The approval requested only applies to the upgrade of materials from concrete to pennant paving within the Highways team's existing Term Maintenance Contract for Westgate Street.
5.2 The Council's Urban Design Team has assessed the scope of works necessary to deliver a coherent solution for Westgate Street, in line with the PRMS. The enhanced funding will deliver a slightly extended scope of works to that currently proposed by Highways. This will address the appropriate treatment of junctions at Stall and Union Street and Saw Close, together with St Michael's passage (see plan attached).
5.3 In the February 2008 Council Meeting the Council :
`2.4b) notes the indicative capital payments budgets (italics items) of £12.974m in 2009/10, £41.717m in 2010/11, £42.208m in 2011/12 and £49.706m in 2012/13 and £11.908m in 2013/14, as shown in Appendix 2 Annex 6i, and planned sources of funding, including potential changes to the programme shown in Annex 6ii & Annex 6iii
c) agrees that the authorisation of any expenditure in 2009/10, and any consequential future commitments, in respect of the items shown in italics in Annex 6i-iii, be subject to review and approval by the relevant Cabinet Member and the Cabinet Member for Resources, in consultation with the s151 Officer. `
This project was an italic item within the Public Realm - Street Furniture heading to be funded by Capital Receipts earmarked for the Public Realm. The Capital Receipts in 2008/09 to be utilised in 2009/10 were £2m, of which approximately £1.4m is allocated to the Public Realm - Wayfinding project. The remainder is as yet unallocated, therefore funding is available through capital receipts.
6 RISK MANAGEMENT
6.1 The report author and the Cabinet Member for Development & Major Projects have fully reviewed the risk assessment related to the issue and recommendations, in compliance with the Council's decision making risk management guidance. As outlined above, the recommendation relates specifically to the upgrade of material from concrete to pennant. The material selected is already priced within the Term Maintenance Contract and therefore represents a low financial risk.
6.2 Confirmation has been given by the Term Maintenance Contractor (Atkins) that a suitably sourced material can be provided in the quantity required to complete the full scope of works.
7.1 An equalities impact assessment was carried out on the Public Realm and Movement Strategy. The above recommendation refers specifically to an upgrade in paving material under the Council's existing Term Maintenance Programme. While reclaimed pennant stone will not provide as smooth a surface as concrete or new pennant paving, it must be laid to acceptable standards for people with visual impairments and disabilities. On this basis, the item is not required to go to a full impact assessment.
8.1 The rationale for using natural pennant stone paving is set out in the Council's Public Realm and Movement Strategy, which seeks to establish a high quality and long-lasting natural stone street surface within Bath City Centre. This is driven by the objective to create a more attractive and unified city centre commensurate with Bath's status as a World Heritage Site and international visitor destination and to encourage higher levels of footfall and increased economic activity.
9 OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED
9.1 Other options considered included i) continuing with concrete paving, which would not deliver the Council's long-term aspiration for Bath city centre or ii) using new pennant paving for which there was no contract rate within the Term Maintenance Contract, which would introduce an unacceptable level of cost uncertainty.
10.1 Public Realm Steering Group; Relevant Cabinet members; Overview & Scrutiny Panel Chairman; Ward Councillor; Other B&NES Services; Section 151 Finance Officer; Monitoring Officer
10.2 Consultation was carried out by email and telephone.
11 ISSUES TO CONSIDER IN REACHING THE DECISION
11.1 Social Inclusion; Customer Focus; Sustainability; Property
12 ADVICE SOUGHT
12.1 The Council's Monitoring Officer (Council Solicitor) and Section 151 Officer (Strategic Director - Support Services) have had the opportunity to input to this report and have cleared it for publication.
Rhodri Samuel (01225 477452) or Simon Martin (01225 477407)
Creating the Canvas for Public Life, Public Realm and Movement Strategy for Bath City Centre
Please contact the report author if you need to access this report in an alternative format