News

The latest newsletter from highways – October

Welcome New Portfolio Holder

I welcome Councillor Mr Alan Macrae to the Portfolio of Highways and Transport. He joins us at a very exciting time with the commencements of the new contracts and the improvement in many services.

His experience and knowledge will be vital in maximising the achievable benefits over the next few years.

Welcome Alan and I know we all look forward to working with you.

Local Highways Restructure

The restructure nears completion.

The officers assigned to each area are list below.

As from the 1st October 2016 the communication channels will be:
• All maintenance and safety issues through the MyWiltshire Web or App. If no electronic access then phone.
• Discretionary Services through the Priority Sheet.
• Discussions on discretionary service, with the Parish Steward onsite.
• Local improvement schemes via CAT
Name Role Area
C Clark Highways Area Manager Central
T Woolford Highways Area Manager Southern
M Beaven Highways Area Manager North
L Lowton Highways Area Manager Wiltshire
Simon Row Network Operations Manager Wiltshire

Name Role CAB Area
G Axtell Highway Engineer Sal & South Southern
TBC Highway Engineer Dev & Pew Northern
P Bollen Highway Engineer Chip & Corsham Central
D Button Highway Engineer SW Southern
A Cadwallader Highway Engineer BoA & Melk Central
A Cole Highway Engineer Ames & Tid Southern
M Cook Highway Engineer Marl & RWB Northern
M Perrott Highway Engineer Malmes & Calne Northern
P Whyte Highway Engineer Tro, War & Wes Central
C Campbell Streetscene Engineer South and East
F Waind Streetscene Engineer North and West
D Nott Technical Engineer Wiltshire

The Parish Steward Scheme

The scheme starts on the 1st October 2016.

I trust you have all:
1. Provided your Parish/ Town Highway Representative
2. Provide your list of works, with your top five priorities.
3. Received the details of your Parish Steward
4. Received the scheduled of visits
We look forward to seeing you next month and delivering your local priorities.

As you will be aware the Parish Steward Scheme is the service that delivers the Local Highways discretionary priorities.

The council has diverted all its discretionary provision and funding to this service following feedback from the annual Parish and Town Council meetings.

This allows the relevant town or parish to identify their requirements, but it does mean that all the Local Highway discretionary work can only be completed if undertaken via the Parish Steward Scheme.

Local Highway discretionary reports received through the MyWilltshire will be closed done, as these services will be identified by the town or parish councils. We will develop the MyWiltshire system to allow you to see the discretionary reports, but currently this is not possible for which I apologise. For your information the Parish Steward Scheme will deliver all the requirements for:
• Hand clearing and cutting of growth from drainage grips and drain gully covers
• Hand clearing of blocked drainage gullies, culverts, pipes and pits
• Clearing storm debris from the roads and footways
• Pedestrian barriers preparation and painting
• Cleaning, re-installation (if held) and straightening of small road signs, street nameplates and bollards
• Removal of limited graffiti from road signs, bollards and street nameplates
• Hand cutting of grass and vegetation in non-safety visibility areas
• Hand treatment of weeds
• Removal of Ragwort and other noxious weeds
• Clearance of encroaching growth and soils from footways
• Repair of minor surface defects in roads and on footways
The limitations are those that result from the capabilities of one man working alone with hand tools and a small vehicle.
MyWiltshire Parish and Town

Whilst we all know the MyWiltshire System needs developing, it has still delivered a massive improvement on the historic arrangements and continues to be improved. The latest being feedback in the notes section on all reports to keep reporter’s informed. The system has also allowed many efficiencies and cost savings.

It is also the best way we can reduce the number of emails and calls to the council, freeing up staff time to concentrate on reporters who may not be so computer aware.

It must be noted that all that happens when a call or email is received is that council staff member acts as a PA and types the information into the MyWiltshire system for the reporter. As you can imagine this carries significant cost, figures being quoted are £5per telephone call compared to pence for a web report. With the need to prioritise spending on vital services, we are asking parish and town councils to be the example for everyone with internet access and use the MyWiltshire Website or App.

I trust you have been reading that the Local Highways have changed the way we manage the service from the 1st September 2016 to allow a greater focus on front line services. There are no longer Coordinators and the number of support staff has been reduced. We have advised everyone wherever possible to use the electronic systems, as the new structure is based upon the opportunity of internet reporting and the reduction in manual processes. Quite simply there are not the back office staff to type in all the reports if emails are not reduced. If an email is sent the reporter has electronic access and could have entered the information into the MyWiltshire system direct.

Local Highways will always endeavour to enter reports into the MyWiltshire system at the earliest opportunity for reporters. So no matter how anyone reports an issue we will type them in, but there will be considerable delays because these will be done until resources allow. Hence we would like Parish and Town Council’s to be the example for residents to follow using the Mywiltshire system, and communicate that this allows improved feedback with a reduction in processing costs and permits staff more time to answer calls for those without electronic access.

We would also ask that town and parish councils set up a unique MyWiltshire account in their name. This will allow Wiltshire Council to track town and parish enquiries and feedback on particular issues for meetings.

As sated above the Parish Steward scheme delivers the discretionary service for Wiltshire Council Local Highway Service. In October the priority for discretionary services will be delegated to town and parish councils. You will decide the work priorities for the Parish Steward.

To confirm the arrangements from October 2016. Statutory work is undertaken through the MyWiltshire system. All work requests will have to go through the MyWiltshire system as this is the work instruction process for all our contractors. The only discretionary works undertaken by Local Highways will be through the Parish Steward scheme. The priority of discretionary works will be set by the local parish or town council.

Local Highway officers will set up an automatic email response to advise all reporters of the new arrangements.

Litter and Litter Bins

Everyone knows that councils have a statutory duty to collect litter. Regrettably this has contributed in part to the perception that “I drop litter as it keeps someone in a job” or “I pay my Council Tax for my litter to be collected”. But as we all know this attitude is costing Wiltshire alone over £2.5million per annum. Whilst this is a simple waste of money, it also diverts funding from other vital services.

However, there is a raft of legalisation that applies to the individual or business, which is often forgotten.

Just recently the council has received a number of requests from parish and town council’s for litter bins to be placed outside of shops, for their customer’s waste. The council is reminding everyone that there is a more appropriate route which would involve the business whose customers are producing the litter.

Attached is the Legalisation that applies to such businesses. In essence the council can serve notice on the business for them to make arrangements, where there are issues.

However, enforcement should always be a last result. The council has tried ad-hoc discussions with businesses, with some successes and some failures. However, it is now considering running some trials of introducing a voluntary code with businesses.

As the council’s resources are limited it is looking for partner town and parish councils to run the scheme. This would involve the town or parish council identifying the issue, and possible litter bin requirement. Approaching the local businesses with the suggested voluntary code. Hopefully for them to sign up to. Wiltshire Council will support with advice on the suitable location of the litter bin and approval if on the highway. If the business declines to support the code, but their customers are causing issues, it may be appropriate then to involve the Council’s Enforcement team to ensure the matter is corrected. However, knowing Wiltshire businesses I am sure this will not be an issue.

If you would like to become involved kindly email Adrian Hampton and when we are ready to commence the new scheme we will be in touch.

Who’s responsible for what litter
Organisation Responsible for Who to contact

Wiltshire Council
All public land and roads within their boundary (except for roads for which the Highways England is responsible – see below) Through MyWiltshire

Highways England
The tidiness of all motorways and major trunk roads. These are listed on the Highways Agency’s network map. Visit www.highways.gov.uk; search for ‘road network map’ and click on the second search result
Complaints about litter or fly-tipping can be made to the Highways England Information Line 08457 50 40 30.
If you see a driver throwing litter out of a car window, make a note of the number plate and call the local police. The police can issue a fine of £75 or more

Network Rail
All land between the tracks, as well as up to 100 metres from the end of the platform.
Responsible for all railway land in urban areas.
The remaining areas are managed by the train operating companies
Please call the National Rail Helpline 08457 11 41 11 if you have complaints about the level of litter on the stations managed by National Rail.

Contact the train operating companies for the remaining 2,500 stations

Environment Agency
Large-scale incidents of fly- tipping (more than a lorry load), hazardous waste in drums, and waste dumped in a way that is a threat to human health or to the environment
Incidents can be reported 24 hours a day on 0800 807 060.
The Environment Agency also investigates unregistered waste carriers and brokers.
To ensure your tradesman or skip hire is a registered waste carrier, call 08708 506 506.
National Trust Land and property the Trust owns and maintains Litter problems should be reported to National Trust regional offices or its head office 01793 817 400

Forestry Commission
Land managed by Forest Enterprise England
Please contact the relevant Forest District Office to report litter problems. For contact information visit www.forestry.gov.uk, search
for ‘district office details’ and click on the ‘Local Offices’ link

Hedges and shrubs

Only hedges and shrubs on the amenity maps will be maintained to a schedule. Please find below the link to the maintenance areas.

http://www.realitygeo.com/explorer.aspx?cfg=wiltsgr

We are currently looking at the priorities for winter hedge and shrub maintenance. If you have an amenity hedge or shrub you feel must be maintained this winter, please contact Lisa Lowton @ lisa.lowton@wiltshire.gov.uk.


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