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RH0236 - Winter Maintenance and Community Councils - 141215

This authority is considering what contracts or agreements are in place where a Community Council has finance and resources available to carry out winter maintenance services in its own area. 
They are keen to hear from others who have these arrangements in place in respect of the following: 

  • Decisions to activate operations 
  • Insurance / liabilities, 
  • Health & Safety 
  • Training, and 
  • Procurement.

RH0235 - Inspection/repair regimes for footpaths/roads in parks and cemeteries - 111215

This authority is reviewing its arrangements for looking at inspection regimes for footpaths and roads in parks and cemeteries.

They would like to hear from other local authorities who have adopted an inspection/repair regime for footpaths/roads within parks and cemeteries.

They are particularly interested to know whether the regime been used successfully in defending 3rd party claims in court.

They would be grateful for any other related information.

RH0234 - Parking on verges - 251115

A member authority have had a recent problem with a several companies parking heavily branded vehicles on embankments or grass verges at prominent roadside locations as a form of advertising. There seems to be nothing they can do about this according to various services they have asked.
They would be interested if any other authority has had this problem and if they were able to find a legal way to address this issue successfully?

RH0233 - Adoption of ROSPA/Road Safety GB Guidelines (SCP Points) - 181115

A member authority would like to know if your authority has adopted the ROSPA/Road Safety GB Guidelines or part thereof, specifically in relation to the establishment of SCP Points? If so, which parts have been adopted?

RH0232 - Disabled parking bay decisions - 301115

This authority is reviewing its policies for making decisions over disabled parking bays. They would like to hear how other authorities approve / reject disabled parking bays and whether policies are in place to aid the process. They would be grateful for copies of such policies.

They would also like to hear from any authorities that no longer allocate disabled parking and would like to hear about the key issues they experienced when implementing the policy change.

RH0231 - Highways systems for sharing photographs and plans - 041115

This authority has introduced a systems security policy that is causing the Highway section to rethink its method of working.

The previous use of iCloud on an iPad to share photographs with colleagues is no longer available. They are being directed to the Council's preferred secure web provider but this their current options do not meet the Council’s requirements in terms of sharing photographs and plans.

They are keen to hear from others who have a secure method of sharing photographs and plans that meet central Government's requirements in respect of the following –

  • Data Protection Act
  • Copyright, Designs and Patents Act
  • Computer Misuse Act

They would also be interested to hear from any authority that is still using a cloud system for sharing photographs and drawings.

RH0230 - Removal of hanging icicles from Council assets - 031115

This member Authority is looking for information from other Local Authorities surrounding whether they have written procedures in place to manage the removal of icicles hanging from Council assets (buildings, bridges, etc.)?  In particular:

  1. How are these procedures communicated to members of the public?  
  2. How is the removal work undertaken by Council staff, Emergency Services staff or Contractors? 
  3. What equipment is used for the removal of icicles?

RH0229 - Dealing with redundant highways plant and equipment - 281015

We are interested to find out how member authorities deal with redundant highways plant and equipment such as cut off saws, wacker plates, breakers, CAT’s (cable avoidance tools) , chain saws, leaf blowers, small mowers.
Do you:

  • Sell it for re-use?

If you do what medium do you use (Ebay, council website , APSE Marketplace, other)?  Please provide detail

  • Sell it for scrap value?
  • Give it to charity?
  • Destroy it?

Please provide any relevant information.

RH0228 - Winter service and lone working

This authority is carrying out a review of certain aspects of their winter service and are interested to know whether/how others operate specific lone working procedures within depots during winter operations from unsupervised depots.
Please complete the following:-

  1. Does your authority operate from unsupervised depots that require lone working?
  2. Are gritter operations controlled from a single point that allows monitoring of staff while they are loading gritters unsupervised?
  3. What communications/monitoring do you have in place for lone working?
  4. Have you had any specific issues with winter operations and lone working activities?

Please include any further relevant information.

RH0227 - Risk Matrix for Defect Categorisation - 021015

This local authority would be grateful if you could confirm if your authority uses a risk matrix for defect categorisation and, if so, could you provide a copy of the current matrix? Of particular interest to this local authority are:
a.       The resolution of the matrix (e.g. 4x4, 5x5);
b.      The terminology used to define degrees of probability and impact (e.g. severe, likely);
c.       The number of categories in the matrix (e.g. Cat 1, Cat 2);
d.      The response commitment aligned to each category (e.g. 1-day, next available works programme).

RH0226 - Graffiti removal from private property - 170915

This authority is looking at how they should approach cleaning graffiti from private property. An example of the kind of issue they are facing is attached. 
They would like to hear how others:

  • Decide on those cases of graffiti, littering etc. which they will respond to
  • Engage with property owners / occupiers
  • Access funds to deal with this issue (e.g. area forum / ward based budgets)
  • Retrieve costs from property owners / occupiers

Any related information would be appreciated

RH0225 - Winter Maintenance delivery options - 040915

This authority is currently undergoing a soft market testing exercise of their winter maintenance service. They are interested in hearing from others who have commenced, are looking at or have considered and dismissed, externally delivering winter maintenance gritting services? 
They are keen to hear reasons for and against the decision made, actual or expected savings, transition arrangements and any other relevant information.


RH0224 - Abnormal Load movement notifications - 280815

This authority would like to hear from others with responses to the following questions:-

  1. Does your Authority charge hauliers for processing abnormal load notifications?
  2. If so, what method of charging is used? i.e. charge per notification, annual fee or other method.
  3. How much is the charge or charges?
  4. Is the charge made if hauliers notify you using ESDAL2 (Electronic Service Delivery for Abnormal Loads) and/or paper form notifications?

RH0223 - Enforcing cycling laws and cycle licences - 120815

  1. This authority is considering whether to introduce enforcement for cycling laws. They would like to hear from others who have introduced or considered it. The Highway Code rules 59 to 71 for cyclists at https://www.gov.uk/rules-for-cyclists-59-to-82/overview-59-to-71. 
  2. Do other local authorities provide any incentivised cycling training outside that which is provided to the top end of junior school? e.g. proficiency training linked to a deal set up with local cycle retailers to get 20% off.
  3. Have others ever given consideration to piloting a cycling licence in their area in the same way you need a licence to ride a motorcycle? Similar rules might apply particularly with regard to the speeds bicycles might travel at.

RH0222 - Example TMC documentation - 040815

This council is aware that others may have used the HMEP documents to procure their new Highways Services Contract presumably a TMC. 

They are keen to have sight of the full set of Contract Documents sent out at tender stage to include the Contract Data, Appendices and Annexes for an intended co-joined TMC procurement this authority are putting in place.

RH0220 - Gully cleansing operations - 170615

This authority is currently reviewing and updating their maintenance frequencies and policies for highway drainage to assist with the on-going delivery of efficiencies and make best use of available resources as well as to improve management procedures for adverse weather and highway flood management. 

They are keen to hear from other authorities and to have sight of policies regarding the following:-

  1. Gully emptying frequency - they currently work to an annual clean across all areas and will be adjusting frequencies based on risk and network hierarchy. Can other authorities provide information/criteria on how they employ varied cleaning frequencies?
  2. Management of highway flood risk areas - they will be establishing a more formal procedure for mitigating the risks from highway flooding both in response to forecast weather events and to identify high risk areas for preventative action during adverse conditions. They would be grateful to see the procedures/policies others have in place to initiate and record maintenance activities in response to adverse rainfall conditions.
  3. Drainage management - to assist in identifying the drainage asset inventory, a business case is being prepared to potentially fund a programme of inventory surveys. Have any authorities undertaken the detailed inventory and or condition survey of drainage systems and would they be willing to share any examples of business justification? 

RH0219 - Reviewing Highways and Engineering Service - 090615

This APSE member authority is reviewing its Highways and Engineering services. They would be interested to hear from other APSE member authorities that have recently undertaken a similar review and details of any considerations taken to:-

  • Insource the service
  • Outsource the service or
  • Moved to a mixed delivery model

Please also indicate if you would be willing to host a site visit if needed to look at your operational model.

RH0218 - ICT solutions for resource programming and costing - 190515

This authority is taking forward a project to look at solutions to help with resource planning within the in-house design teams. They are keen to understand from other Local Authorities what (if any) ICT solutions they use as a resource programming and costing tool to efficiently manage the production of Highways designs and ultimately if the same product is utilised to integrate this to the construction programme.
They would also like to hear from others looking to invest in this type of system but who have yet to make a decision.  Any related information would be gratefully received.

RH0217 - Separate glass collection in a co-mingled service - 240315

A member authority is trying to establish whether any local authorities operate either a weekly, or alternate weekly, co-mingled dry recyclable material collection service in which  glass is presented and collected  separately from other dry recyclable materials,  and remains separate from the other dry recyclable materials such as paper and plastics on the same split body waste collection vehicle
In relation to the staffing levels of collection crews for this type of  service , do local authorities utilise a driver and two operatives or a driver and three operatives.
Finally the member authority would like to know how many local authorities collect all dry recyclables (excluding paper and card) in the same bin/kerbside container so that glass is mixed with plastics, foil etc.

RH0216b - Theft of stone flags 270215

This authority is suffering from the regular theft of stone flags with an average of 180 theft reports per year over the past decade. They have considered solutions such as sandblasting the council crest into each flag and using smart water but the problem remains.

They would like to hear from others about

  • any methods used elsewhere to try and avoid the theft of expensive paving such as York stone
  • how successful the methods have been
  • whether theft of flags is a problem in other authorities and if so whether they can quantify the scale of it? 

RH0216 - Price of asphalt materials – 200215

This authority is interested to see if others have seen a reduction in the prices they are currently paying for asphalt materials in light of falling oil prices.

They would be keen to know

  1.       Whether others have seen prices fall over the past 6 months
  2.       An estimate of the % fall (e.g. 10%)

RH0215 - Electronic system for logging out grounds maintenance machinery - 160215

This  APSE member Authority has an issue with having to log out on a daily basis, individual pieces of grounds maintenance machinery such as pedestrian mowers, strimmers, hedge trimmers and chainsaws and then record there return at the end of the working day. This is an internal audit procedure requirement, and a such has to be adhered to , but is extremely time consuming as they have over 300 pieces of such machinery.

They are therefore wishing to find out if any other local authorities have an electronic system which would allow their task to be made easier.

RH0214 - Litter picking on roads over 40 mph 040215

This authority is reviewing its procedures for litter picking on roads above 40mph and the traffic management which is used.

They would like to know:

1. what arrangements others have in place for roads above 40mph.

2. how other authorities interpret the Safety at Street Works and Road Works Code of Practice in relation to litter picking.

RH0213 - Winter Footway Treatment 300115

This authority currently uses a brine solution to treat footways in larger town centres.  They would like to know what methods other authorities use in order to compare efficiency.

  1. What type of treatment do you use
  2. What dosage do you use?
  3. What is the spread rate and what area does this cover (in m²)
  4. What spreading equipment is used, e.g. ‘Gator’ vehicle with a spray bar, and is this a one or two man operation?
  5. Are vehicles/equipment hired?
  6. Is labour in-house of contracted out?
  7. What is the total cost of de-icing footways per m²?
  8. Is this service restricted to larger town centres only?

RH0212 - Commuted sums - implications of Redrow Homes Ltd v Knowsley MBC case 200115

In the recent Redrow Homes Ltd v Knowsley MBC court case, Knowsley Council refused to enter into a S38 agreement unless the developer accepted an obligation to pay over a commuted sum of money in respect of post-adoption maintenance costs, so the case turned on whether use of the word "maintenance" in the Section is restricted to maintenance of the roads (or street lighting to be more precise about the case itself) before adoption or can include a period after adoption, i.e. when they are statutorily maintainable at public expense. Both the High Court and the Court of Appeal ruled that the Council's interpretation was correct, namely that the amount that can be demanded for maintenance of the highway is not temporally constrained.

An APSE member council is interested to know how other local authorities approach the subject of commuted sums in relationship to Section 38 Agreements (1980 Highways Act).

They are interested to hear from others with regard to the following:-

1.    Do you currently charge commuted sums for all elements of the S38 agreement?

2.    If no, please indicate which elements of the S38 you do apply commuted sums to.

3.    Are you intending to change your current commuted sums process as a result of this court case?

4.    When calculating commuted sums do you calculate them for a given period of time? Please provide the period of time the commuted sum is calculated over (e.g. 30 years).

RH0211 - Route based forecasting 150115

This largely rural authority undertakes Winter Treatments within four defined climatic domains, they are considering the move to route based forecasting and route based treatments. They are keen to learn from the experience of any other authority who has already made the move to route based treatments. They are particularly interested to understand how the route based forecasts are validated and whether monitoring/forecasting stations have been installed on every route.

Any information detailing the benefits and savings associated with route based forecasting and route based treatments would be greatly appreciated.

RH0210 - Face Fit Testing for highways operatives 120115

This local authority has recently undertaken Qualitative Face Fit Testing (for tight fitting masks) with their operatives. They are interested in how others have approached this issue including the following:-

  • Have other local authorities encountered problems requesting that their employees present themselves clean shaven for the testing process?
  • Following testing, have local authorities encountered further problems in maintaining that their operatives remain clean shaven whilst using a cut off saw cutting kerbs, flags, etc?
  • What controls measures have been introduced to ensure that operatives, when cutting, have options if they are unshaven? (i.e. to have a shave on site or use a powered air respirator)
  • What action (if any) has been taken in respect of operatives persistently not presenting themselves clean shaven?

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.




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