Agenda, decisions and minutes

Venue: Delyn Committee Room, County Hall, Mold CH7 6NA

Contact: Maureen Potter / Sharon Thomas / 01352 702322 / 702324 

Note: Special Meeting 

No. Item


Declarations of Interest (Including Whipping Declarations)

To receive any Declarations and advise Members accordingly.


Councillor Mike Peers declared a personal interest in Agenda item 3 - Flintshire County Council’s Integrated Transport Strategy, as Chair of Governors at Mountain Lane C.P. School.


Councillor Paul Shotton declared a personal interest in Agenda item 3 - Flintshire County Council’s Integrated Transport Strategy, as a School Governor at Ysgol Bryn Deva and Connah’s Quay High School.


Councillor Mike Peers declared a personal interest in Agenda item 3 - Flintshire County Council’s Integrated Transport Strategy, as Chair of Governors at Mountain Lane C.P. School.


Councillor Paul Shotton declared a personal interest in Agenda item 3 - Flintshire County Council’s Integrated Transport Strategy, as a School Governor at Ysgol Bryn Deva and Connah’s Quay High School.


Flintshire Integrated Transport Strategy pdf icon PDF 500 KB

Additional documents:


(a)       That the hierarchy of transport strategy within Wales and the relationship between national and local policy which help identify the direct interventions needed to deliver key transport improvements be noted; and


(b)       That the Council’s progress on the key interventions defined within the current North Wales Joint Local Transport Plan (NWJLTP) be noted.


The Chief Officer (Streetscene & Transportation) presented a report to update the Committee on the work being carried out to develop the Flintshire Integrated Transport Strategy, last presented to Cabinet in 2018.


The Chief Officer and Highway Strategy Manager gave a joint presentation, which covered the following areas:-


·         Transport Hierarchy in Wales;

·         Aims and Objectives

·         A Fully Integrated Solution;

·         Flintshire’s Key Priorities; and

·         The Key to Success


Councillor Paul Shotton thanked officers for their work in producing the Integrated Transport Strategy, a comment which was supported by a number of Members of the Committee.  He detailed the initiatives introduced in Connah’s Quay, including the installation of a pedestrian crossing on Mold Road and the improvements to the Deeside Shuttle Service, which were welcomed.  He sought assurance around the frequency and security of the bus network going forward to enable people to continue to access employment at the Deeside Industrial Park.


In response to his question, Councillor Dave Wisinger welcomed the information provided by the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member on the introduction of a cycle path from Mold to Airbus which would link to the Deeside Industrial Park and take in Queensferry and Sandycroft.


Councillor Chris Dolphin welcomed the work being carried out to provide bus services to rural areas.  He raised concerns around Transport for Wales reducing rail times and the frequency of service in North Wales but welcomed the comments from the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member that feedback and representations on these concerns had been made by the Council.  He also welcomed the proposed safety measures for the Well Hill, Holywell.  In response to his request on the updating of bus timetables at bus stations across Flintshire, the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member gave an assurance that this was in the process of being updated.


Councillor David Evans asked for clarification on the exact location for people to access the Deeside Shuttle Service.  The Chief Officer explained that work was progressing to enable the pick-up/drop off point for the Deeside Shuttle Service to be at the TATA Steel Road. 


Councillor Owen Thomas said he would have liked to see reference to the electrification of the railway line included within the Strategy and also commented on the regular diversions put in place due to incidents along the A55 which he felt had an adverse impact on the County’s network.  The Chief Officer reported that the Welsh Government were currently looking at pinch points following diversions from the A55 but assured Members that the Council did seek additional funding for improvement works as a result of additional use of the County’s network.


Councillor George Hardcastle raised concerns around the proposals to introduce a cycle route along Aston Hill and the lack of consultation that had been carried out with Local Members.  He had safety concerns if the cycle route did not include safety barriers.  The Chief Officer agreed to pick this up with Councillor Hardcastle following the meeting.


Councillor Mike Peers commented on the aims and objectives of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.


Recovery of Costs Following Damage to the Highway Network pdf icon PDF 88 KB

Additional documents:


(a)       That the Committee note and support the process of recovering costs for repairs following damage to the highway network; and


(b)       That the recovery of costs for incidents that involve fatalities, be considered on a case by case basis. 



The Highway Network Manager presented a report to inform the Committee of the process involved in reclaiming costs incurred by the Council and to provide assurance that agreed procedures were being followed.  The Streetscene & Transportation service were regularly requested to attend traffic accidents and other incidents to clear debris or make repairs to the Carriageway when accidents and incidents occurred on the highway network.  On these occasions, the highway network team looked to record costs, and identify those responsible for the incidents by working with North Wales Police and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), in an effort to recover costs from the individual or their insurers.


A recent internal audit of the processes in place had been requested by the service area as part of the scheduled internal audit programme.  The audit took place in October 2019 and identified that the written procedures in place were acceptable and covered the process for recovering costs of rechargeable works.  However, the internal audit identified that these were not being consistently followed and inaccuracies were apparent in the recorded information against claims held.  Significant work had been undertaken by the service area since the audit report to refresh the process and respond to the areas identified for improvement, which were detailed within the report.


The Highway Network Manager advised that the service area do not currently follow up the recovery of costs for incidents that involve fatalities due to the sensitivities of such action.  The cost of the incidents was often high and roads could remain closed for many hours to allow the Police to investigate the cause of the incident.  He asked the Committee to consider whether it felt that the recovery of these costs should be considered in the future.


Councillor David Evans asked whether the Council were successful in recovering the full costs from insurance companies and also if the rates of pay from insurance companies aligned with neighbouring authorities.  The Highway Network Manager explained that insurance companies often negotiated the costs to be awarded and also challenged the life of an asset which had been damaged.  In some instances it was necessary to write off the debt and this had to be agreed with the Corporate Finance Manager as the Section 151 Officer.  The Highway Agency in England trialled a fixed rate of pay across local authorities but this was abandoned due to lack of agreement on the fixed rates. 


In response to questions from Councillors Paul Shotton and Owen Thomas around the inspections of the highway network and the difficulties in recovering costs from incidents where vehicles damaged hedgerows, the Highway Network Manager explained the process for inspection the highway network following work undertaken by utility companies.  He also explained that it was not possible for the Council to share information received through the DVLA with anyone else, but he agreed to speak to Councillor Thomas following the meeting about an incident that had occurred within his own ward.  


Councillor Chris Dolphin commented on the non-recovery  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.


Alltami Depot Stores pdf icon PDF 108 KB


That the working arrangements within the Streetscene & Transportation depot stores, and actions undertaken to control material and equipment held within the stores be supported.


The Service Delivery Manager presented a report to provide assurances around controls in place within the stores in Alltami depot.  The Alltami depot stores was responsible for the safe and secure storage of all stock items and materials used at the depot, and additionally, ensuring that all plant and machinery used by the service was operated, inspected and serviced in accordance with planned schedules and legal requirements.


Internal audits of the depot stores were undertaken in July 2016, with a follow-up audit conducted in May 2019.  The overall findings from the audits were that the controls in operation at the time provided some assurance that key risks were managed and controlled effectively, but that more could be done.  The Service Delivery Manager reported on the new stores system in place, as detailed within the report, explaining that a delivery project team would be established to monitor delivery of the system, which would be reported on a monthly basis to the Senior Management Team meetings.     


In response to a request from the Chairman, the Chief Officer (Streetscene & Transportation) said that a copy of the audit report would be made available to Members of the Committee.  He also advised that the service had been complemented on the level of information provided during a recent health and safety inspection.


Councillor Mike Peers thanked officers for the report.  He commented on obsolete stock items and materials stored at the depot and asked whether the service received full cost recovery on the items sent to auction and whether the money made was returned to the service.  He raised concerns around the lack of systems in place in order to return unused items of stock and asked why it had taken 3 years for there to be a follow-up audit.  He asked what the cost to the service was for agency staff not returning appropriate clothing at the end of their employment and raised concern on the van ladders previously purchased by the Housing Department and stored at the depot and asked if there had been a duplication in cost if they had not been moved for a number of years.


The Service Delivery Manager responded that where obsolete stock items, such as, old lanterns and crash barriers could not be used elsewhere, they were auctioned and full cost of the items was recovered.  This money was given back to the streetscene service.  She wasn’t aware of why the follow-up audit had taken 3 years but could pick this up with them following the meeting.  In relation to the cost of non-returned clothing, the Service Delivery Manager explained that the cost had not been picked up as part of the audit.   


In response to a suggestion from Councillor Peers, the Chief Officer agreed to provide an update report to the Committee in six months’ time in order to give assurance that the new working arrangements and processes were being followed correctly.         


            In response to a question from Councillor Chris Dolphin, the Service Delivery Manager advised  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.


Members of the Press and Public in Attendance


There were no members of the press and public in attendance.