Agenda item

Lindsay Ferris asked the Executive Member for Highways and Transport the following question:



I have considerable concerns that the financial information presented for the closure of the School Crossing Patrol Service (see pages 21/21 of this Agenda) are inaccurate and omit a number of ongoing Revenue costs associated with the provision and future running of the crossing facilities proposed to be provided.


Why have these ongoing revenue costs been excluded, as it gives a false impression of any supposed savings?



I believe the costs you are referring to relate to any interest payments associated with capital borrowing and the ongoing maintenance and operation costs once the sites have been installed.


I can confirm that the majority of the capital funding has been allocated from grants with a very small proportion from developer contributions.  Therefore there are no additional costs associated with borrowing in this part.


As for maintenance and operation these costs are relatively small and will be absorbed within the existing maintenance budgets.   The new lights will all be LED so power consumption and therefore cost will be very low and in terms of faults the most common fault is bulbs requiring replacement.  With LED this is no longer a regular issue.  As these installations will be new any maintenance or faults during the first few years will be covered under warranty.  For new traffic signal installations the approximate annual cost is less than £600 per site.


Supplementary Question

I beg on the debate to differ if necessary on the interest payments because not all your money will be coming from that because it is a question of how the money is funded.  So I will query that later.


I will also just make a comment before I get to my question.  You mentioned that the decision was made a little while ago about this.  My understanding is that it was on the first phase that the decision was made and that the paper presented said it would review the second phase so I have an issue with that.   Also you were asked about not being able to do something about keeping any school patrollers.  You know you can do that via a supplementary estimate so that is not an issue.


The issue I now have is there is an ongoing replacement cost for these control systems.  They last somewhere between 10-15 years.  So somewhere in the costs will need to be a replacement cost and I also do believe that the maintenance of seven new crossings, which is what you are putting here, would actually be quite a significant increase on the number so I will be asking you to come up with a specific issue regarding how you are going to increase the contract associated with the maintenance of the crossings that we have in the Borough and how that will come as I think the figures you mentioned of £600 a year is actually low but I would like you to provide that and if you could provide it by a written answer I am happy for you to do that?


Supplementary Answer

I said that the maintenance costs are relatively small and I don’t think that is likely to change the number of crossings here and there are other crossings that we have in the Borough.  The answer says that it is not going to significantly increase the maintenance budget but I will seek to get the more detailed answer you have asked for but I believe that the answer I have given is accurate.