1 SD10: HIGHWAY NETWORK MANAGEMENT BEST VALUE REVIEW (reproduced review document)
3 Highway Network Management Best Value Review Report of the Member Panel Summary of Key Findings Leicestershire County Council May 2002
4 HIGHWAY NETWORK MANAGEMENT BEST VALUE REVIEW REPORT OF THE MEMBER PANEL SUMMARY OF KEY FINDINGS 1 INTRODUCTION TO THE REVIEW 1.1 The Best Value Review of Highway Network Management has been a major undertaking for the County Council, involving the collection, analysis and consideration of an extensive range of information. The scope of the Review is wide, comprising the complete range of highway network management functions but excluding public transport services which has been the subject of a separate Review. The functions reviewed included the following:- Transportation Policy and Strategy Development of Highway Network Improvements Traffic Management Travel and Road Safety Management Street Lighting Highway Development Control Highway Maintenance and Administration 2. USER AND COMMUNITY CONSULTATION 2.1 Considerable priority has been given during the Review to the need for obtaining, understanding and so far as possible responding to the views of those using and affected by the service. Methods used included:- Facilitated community meetings Stakeholder meetings Community and employee questionnaires User and Members surveys undertaken by MORI 2.2 The results of the user surveys suggest generally encouraging levels of the net satisfaction (difference between those satisfied and those dissatisfied) for the following services. Street lighting 81% Condition or road signs 81% Condition of road markings 78% Salting and gritting of main roads 76% Convenience of crossings 65% Road Safety in town centres 63% Cutting grass on verges 56% Condition of pavement surfaces 45% Killing weeds 41% Condition of road surfaces 39% Road Safety around schools 32% Enforcement of speed restrictions 26% Effectiveness of traffic calming 25% 2
5 2.3 There were some key areas where net satisfaction levels appeared to be low: Speed of repair to damaged pavements 22% Provision of cycleways 15% Speed and efficiency of completion 13% Speed of repair to damaged roads 10% Planning and co-ordination of works 1% Clearing snow from pavements -21% 2.4 Two most important user concerns were identified during consultations where net satisfaction levels were especially low:- Informed about planned roadworks -26% Informed about making contact -30% 3. SERVICE VISION AND PERFORMANCE 3.1 A crucial issue for the Review was to define a future 'Vision' for the service, establishing a robust framework against which subsequent aspirations and options could be evaluated. This was informed by the early results of consultations and subsequently developed through workshops both with county and district council officers and the Members Panel overseeing the Review. The finally approved 'Vision' is attached as Appendix A. 3.2 It was considered important by the Panel that this 'Vision' should be applied consistently countywide against a framework of common standards and challenging targets, based on emerging best practice, and to achieve performance in the best 25% of authorities for national key best value indicators. 3.3 The Review confirmed that the County Council is already in the bestperforming 25% of authorities with regard to:- The low number of road casualties per 100,000 population, both slight injuries as well as those killed and seriously injured The low cost of street lighting as well as the high level of service provided 3.4 In other areas performance improvement targets have been set:- Percentage of pedestrian crossings with facilities for disabled people, Percentage of links of footpaths and other rights of way signposted where they leave a road. Damage to roads and pavements repaired or made safe within 24 hours. 3.5 There are some areas where performance appears to be poor, but where there are concerns about the accuracy of the comparisons:- Cost of highway maintenance per 100 vehicle-km on principal roads. Percentage of principal roads with negative residual life Percentage of non-principal roads with significant defects. Traffic controls and road closures on traffic sensitive roads 3
6 4 FUTURE COUNTY-DISTRICT COUNCIL RELATIONS 4.1 The nature of future relationships between the County Council and district councils in the delivery of Highway Network Management services has been a key issue for the Review, and one where user surveys confirm the need for significant improvements both in understanding and arrangements for access to services. 4.2 The Panel has accordingly given significant attention to this issue and initially considered three possible organisational options:- Modified Agency Model, based upon the continuing involvement of district councils broadly similar to the present agency arrangements, but with important modifications Modified Partnership Model, based upon arrangements broadly similar to those of the Harborough Partnership, but with important modifications:- Direct Service Model which would effectively involve the termination of all present agency and partnership arrangements. 4.3 The three optional models were evaluated to assess their expected performance, the outcome of which indicated that the Direct Service option would contribute most effectively to the approved Service Vision and would also provide the lowest overall community cost. 4.4 This emerging conclusion was discussed at a joint meeting with representative Members of district councils. A number of issues and concerns raised at the meeting and in order to provide a constructive response the Panel considered a further model, an Integrated Service model, bringing together the preferred elements of Direct and Modified Partnership models to provide a balance of cost-efficiency and local involvement. The key aspects of this option are :- All employees would be employed by the County Council directly, and located either centrally or in local offices Three integrated area network teams responsible for delivering local services and for developing inter-authority co-operation and co-ordination. Development control officers continuing to provide information and support to district planning officers as at present. Improved user contact arrangements including a single freephone telephone number. Also including, by agreement with district councils arrangements for faults, enquiries or appointment requests either to be referred or processed directly by district reception staff. Also by agreement with district councils arrangements could be made for appointments with users in district council premises All district and County Council Members would receive regular and consistent work programme and other relevant service information, relating to their respective community areas All County and District Councillors would be individually consulted on significant highway matters affecting their electoral division/ward areas including individual briefing and support as necessary. A district based Local Highways Forum for Members of the County and district councils. 4
7 5 KEY FINDINGS OF THE REVIEW 5.1 The output from the Review was developed in 4 main sections, which were subsequently combined in the final report of the Panel:- Service Assessment Report (views of users, employees and others together with other information to compare aspirations with present arrangements) Options Identification and Evaluation Report ( review of possible changes to aspects of service delivery) Service Improvement Plan (intentions for service improvement) Implementation Plan (plan for action with priorities, programmes, resources and contribution to outcomes) 5.2 The Review Panel adopted some 65 recommendations for inclusion in the Service Improvement Plan, and these are set out in full for convenience in the attached Appendix B. A wide range of potential options for detailed service redesign and priorities have been identified during the course of the Review broadly categorised in priority order as follows:- Potential for cost reduction, increased income or efficiency High priority to deliver policy and programme performance commitments Important but could be dealt with less urgently There are however a number of key milestones, critical to the successful implementation of the Review set out below in the categories adopted for the Review, together with an explanation of their importance. Vision and Focus Adoption and employee ownership of new service vision, including customer focus, performance, consistency, and emphasis on single organisation Adoption of new organisation principles, outline structure and increased strategic capacity In order to give stimulus and urgency to the implementation of the Review it will be important to have made identifiable progress and significantly achieved these milestones by summer-early autumn Policy, Strategy and Performance Resolution of remaining DTLR concerns on Local Transport Plans (LTPs) including review of performance indicators Establishment of improved performance management regime, built into service plans and robustly monitored to drive continuous improvement Completion and adoption of new and revised strategies for highway maintenance, road safety, walking and cycling 5
8 In order to ensure continuity of LTP funding it will be crucial to achieve the most urgent aspects of first of these milestones by early summer 2002, although there will be the need for some ongoing activity. The second milestone is related to the first but the performance regime will extend much more widely. The principles of the performance management regime will need to be established by summer 2002 and the regime fully effective by spring All the identified strategies have been commenced with individual target completion dates during summer-autumn Customer Care Step change in user satisfaction with information on planned roadworks Step change in user access and contact arrangements including improved telephone, website and information systems for monitoring and managing customer care Improved user involvement including local services charter, more effective engagement with local councils, and user satisfaction surveys The achievement of all these milestones are critical to the Review as they address directly the main areas of relatively low user satisfaction. Detailed implementation programmes for all milestones should be in place during 2002 for ensuring introduction of the key step change elements during the springearly summer The development of the Charter and related aspects of the third milestone will follow for commencement in autumn Key Operational Improvements Implement co-ordinated winter maintenance regime, realise initial operational efficiencies and confirm extent of further economies Implement range of further income generation or cost saving proposals Procure and commission Highway Maintenance Management System (HMMS) Implement range of other identified initiatives, including enhanced inspection regime, street sweeping strategy, etc The initial arrangements for co-ordinated winter maintenance regime should commence for winter 2002 and the extent of further economies should be identified by summer 2002 for implementation in winter These and the further economies in the second milestone are essential to the financial balance of the Review. The range of initiatives in the second category have individual timetables and their contribution is expected to build up during the early years of the programme. The HMMS will enable the more effective allocation of resources and should be procured during summer-autumn 2002 for implementation during spring-summer The range of initiatives in the last category have individual timetables and their contribution is expected to build up during the early years of the programme. Organisational Effectiveness Implement new integrated service model for County-District Council relationships, including co-operative working on customer contact and local Member Forums 6
9 Implement new organisational arrangements including increased strategic capacity and new area team structure based on Whole Service Management Organisation Implement improved arrangements for scheme development and design based on principles of rethinking construction Each of these key milestones are inter-linked and should ideally be implemented in co-ordination, but may need to respond to external events. Ideally all organisational changes including staff changes associated with new County-District relationships should be in place for spring-early summer Local Member forums should commence at the same time but will be phased to provide a balanced programme and to take account so far as possible of individual district considerations. Procurement Strategy Confirm and implement new procurement strategy The effectiveness of future procurement strategy will be determined to a great extent by the nature of market conditions at the time and which presently may not be the most appropriate for effective competition. In this context the strategy should be carefully considered and a preferred position established by spring 2003 to enable implementation during 2004/ CONCLUSIONS 6.1 This report provides a very brief summary of the Panel s report and is intended as a brief guide to the Review process and conclusions. The Panel s recommendations are now to be considered by the County Council s Cabinet. 6.2 The Panel greatly appreciates the constructive and helpful contributions made to the Review in particular by service users, stakeholders and community representatives. Also for assistance received from other local authorities, specialist advisors and not least Leicestershire County and district council employees. 7
10 SERVICE VISION APPENDIX A Purpose of Highway Network Management To provide, maintain, and manage the highway network for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods, in accordance with the objectives and priorities of the Local Transport Plan and the wider corporate objectives of the Council. Policies, Objectives and Priorities All aspects of service delivery should be designed to meet users' needs and the Council's legal obligations, in accordance with the principles of the new Code of Practice on Maintenance Management in respect of:- Network Safety Network Serviceability a) Ensuring availability b) Achieving integrity c) Maintaining reliability d) Enhancing quality Network Sustainability a) Minimising cost over time b) Maximising value to the community c) Maximising environmental contribution These policies and objectives and associated service delivery arrangements should be established and regularly reviewed in consultation with district councils and stakeholders, and published in a revised Highway Network Management plan. All programmes and priorities established to meet service policies and objectives should be developed initially on the basis of the best available technical information. They should then be subject to consultation with district and local councils and adjusted so far as practicable to co-ordinate with local circumstances and priorities. All decision making processes should enable the maintenance and development of good quality local services,which should be efficient, transparent and accountable Information and Consultation Clear information on programmes and priorities should be provided consistently and regularly to all County and District Council Members and to local councils
11 Consistent standards of consultation and information should be provided to enable users and communities to understand and comment on proposals that may affect them, to mitigate potential inconvenience during the works, and to facilitate their safe use of the network. The service should provide simple clear contact arrangements, at all times, for users and other stakeholders, which avoid uncertainty and ensure consistently reliable standards of response. Procurement, Quality, and Performance The service should be specified, procured and delivered to provide a balance between price and quality. The cost element of the service should be based upon the total cost incurred by councils on behalf of the community, rather than the cost to the County Council or district council individually. The service should deliver consistent standards of design and implementation throughout the county, reflecting the differing requirements and character of rural and urban areas. Design and delivery of all aspects of the service should be efficiently integrated to maximise added value and avoid waste or duplication. Arrangements should also maximise flexibility to respond to resource constraints, changing priorities or emergencies. All parts of the service should apply a consistent integrated performance management regime, utilising compatible information technology and management information, to monitor progress towards objectives and targets and to drive up standards. Human Resource Management The service should be managed to ensure the most efficient and flexible utilisation of all human resources, whether public or private, including effective training and development, based on the principles of Investors in People. Devolution of operational responsibility to front line employees should be encouraged within a clearly defined and consistent framework of policy and management support. Organisational and management arrangements should encourage a culture of openness, trust, and organisational learning rather than blame in order to support innovation and continuous improvement.
12 APPENDIX B RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE PANEL The recommendations of the Panel are listed below, for convenience, within the categories defined for the Review. The Panel recommends that in order to meet the requirements of Best Value and establish the foundation for continuous improvement the Highway Network Management service will need, in no particular priority order, to:- Policy and Strategy Rec. 1 Rec. 2 Rec. 3 Rec. 4 Rec. 5 Rec. 6 Rec. 7 Rec. 8 Resolve all outstanding DTLR concerns about the Leicestershire Local Transport Plans and Annual Progress Reports as expressed in their responses of November 2000 and December Complete the development of, gain acceptance for, and implement strategies for walking and cycling. Complete the updating of, gain acceptance, and implement a new Road Safety Plan including a strategy for speed management. Resolve outstanding problems in ensuring effective co-ordination with Leicester City Council in the development and implementation of local transport policy, including the reconciliation of performance and target information. Develop, gain acceptance for, publish and implement a revised Highway Network Management Strategy including consistent standards and procedures, based upon the recommendations of the new Code of Practice for Maintenance Management, to replace the present 'Green Book'. Review, gain acceptance for, publish and implement trafficmanagement standards and practices. To be co-ordinated with the review of the Highway Network Management Strategy. Develop, gain acceptance for, publish and implement a revised guide to Highway Requirements for Development. Complete the development of, gain acceptance for and implement a travel plan for the County Council. Also review the present priority and resources assigned to the development and promotion of travel plans. User Access and Satisfaction Rec. 9 Implement and promote the new Service Vision to ensure widespread employee understanding and commitment to ensuring the highest possible levels of user and community satisfaction.
13 Rec. 10 Rec. 11 Rec. 12 Rec. 13 Achieve a step change in the level of user satisfaction in making contact with the service through establishing clear, consistent, easy and reliable contact arrangements. This will need to take account of any new service delivery arrangements resulting from this Review including a single contact telephone number backed up by a relevant management system. Establish consistent and co-ordinated regime of recording and monitoring all user service requests, compliments, complaints and claims together with arrangements for regular monitoring of user satisfaction by management to drive service excellence. Maintain and improve present arrangements for regular and consistent engagement with users and stakeholders, in order to ensure that policies and services are designed so far as possible to meet their reasonable requirements. Extend existing arrangements of sample surveys assessing user satisfaction with final product of improvement or maintenance scheme to all significant schemes. User Information and Consultation Rec. 14 Rec. 15 Rec. 16 Rec. 17 Rec. 18 Rec. 19 Achieve a step change in the level of user satisfaction with information on planned roadworks. This will need to take account of any new service delivery arrangements resulting from this Review. Improve ease of use, quality and quantity of service information on the County Council website. This to include key contacts, timing and duration of schemes likely to affect network service, and relevant policies and standards including LTP and APR information. Improve out of hours and emergency arrangements to address the concerns raised by the Police, including the introduction of an integrated 'duty officer' system, revision of the emergency telephone directory, and timely information on winter gritting actions. Improve consultation arrangements with public transport operators on the timing and duration of highway works and information subsequently provided to public transport operators and users. Extend the use of 'Templates' providing standard but personalised information and responses for use in correspondence or public information documents etc on a wide range of highway network issues. Provide relevant, consistent, and timely information for Members and other community representatives, to enable their constructive engagement in matters affecting their constituency. This to include information on highway implications of development proposals.
14 Working With District Councils Rec. 20 Rec. 21 Rec. 22 Rec. 23 Rec. 24 Implement the Integrated Service Delivery model to replace the established District Council Agency and Partnership arrangements, as an appropriate response which meets both the key conclusions of this Review and legitimate points presented by district councils about the need for the County and district councils to continue to work in partnership, and that this be the basis of further detailed discussions with district councils. Encourage continued co-operative working between County and district councils for efficient management of user contacts and local services. Establish a local Member Forum in each district to advise on local priorities, the design and performance of local schemes and services, and possibilities for joint initiatives. Review the potential for increased delegation to District Planning Officers following consideration of conclusions from pilot scheme. Review overall policy on parking in conjunction with district councils to ensure arrangements are developing consistently with the sustainable travel agenda. This to include the need and priority for resources to address residents parking schemes. Working With Local Councils Rec. 25 Rec. 26 Rec. 27 Rec. 28 Develop in consultation with representatives of local councils, gain acceptance for and publish a 'Local Highway Services Charter' setting out standards applying to both works and advisory services for users and stakeholders, including district, town and parish councils. Review arrangements for the development, design and programming of schemes including priority ranking. Make the information widely available, in particular to district, parish and town councils to improve mutual understanding. Improve community liaison on the nature and timing of maintenance and improvement works including the extension of arrangements developed in Western Division for regular programmed meetings with town and parish representatives. Encourage greater participation by local councils in relevant aspects of service delivery, for example grass cutting and also improved coordination with such district council services, especially in urban areas
15 Organisation and Management Rec. 29 Rec. 30 Rec. 31 Rec. 32 Rec. 33 Ensure that new organisational arrangements provide for clear accountability and are consistent with the need to achieve a step change in ease of access to services. Ensure new organisational arrangements provide for the necessary strategic capacity to manage performance and deliver continuous improvement. Ensure new organisational arrangements define the 'essential policy core' and the 'important client core' as a key aspect of future procurement strategy. This to take into account the need to resolve the position of public transport client services as referred by the Best Value Review of Public Transport. Establish a 'whole service' culture to deliver a step change in organisational cohesion. Achieve Investors in People recognition for the Service. Employee Awareness Training and Development Rec. 34 Rec. 35 Rec. 36 Rec. 37 Improve employee understanding of and commitment to the delivery of integrated transport, and the importance of the LTP and Service Planning process in strategy development, project priorities and funding. Encourage the creative involvement and empowerment of employees, including those providing support services, in seeking opportunities for greater service cohesion, operational efficiencies or added value, and pursuing continuous improvement. Improve employee understanding of corporate administration and processes, in particular new constitutional arrangements and policies relating to customer care and complaints. Improve employee understanding of the maintenance implications of new design and introduce regime of sample audit as recommended by the new Code of Practice for Highway Maintenance Management.
16 Performance Management Rec. 38 Rec. 39 Rec. 40 Rec. 41 Establish an improved performance management regime for projects, programmes and all strategic initiatives, incorporating challenging targets and regular management monitoring to avoid underachievement and drive continuous improvement. Incorporate the arrangements introduced specifically for managing the delivery of the capital programme and the outstanding requirement to produce an Annual State of the Network report. Undertake a review of all local performance indicators and targets with a view to simplifying the presentation of them and to ensure an appropriate focus on outcomes rather than outputs and consistency between LTPs, Business and Service Plans. In particular maximise contribution to corporate outcomes. Build upon the sustainability appraisal undertaken as part of the Review to establish greater employee involvement at the operational level and a targeted programme of improvements. Obtain membership of national benchmarking schemes for both design and works, in accordance with recommendations of new Code of Practice for Maintenance Management and use the information obtained to improve the continuing process of comparison. Ensure the ongoing delivery and monitoring of the Review Implementation Plan and the wider principles of Best Value, including the identification and sharing of best practice and active support for the Midlands Regional Best Value Group. Business Management Rec. 42 Rec. 43 Rec. 44 Establish a programme for delivering efficient and consistent and integrated financial, administration and business management systems including time recording throughout the service, including upgrading of back-office systems where necessary to support service integration, performance management and the pursuit of continuous improvement. Establish a relevant consistent regime of quality management, including Quality Assurance (QA), building upon present systems within DLO and design services based upon ISO 9001:2000 to focus on the wider aspects of quality management throughout the service. Also build employee support for the regime. Review document management and retrieval arrangements and secure necessary investment to improve consistency and efficiency.
17 Service Design and Priority Rec. 45 Rec. 46 Continue increased investment programme on principal roads in order to improve structural condition and movement towards best quartile performance. Continue increased investment programme on non-principal roads in order to improve structural condition and movement towards best quartile performance. Rec. 47 Pursue approved targets for number of road casualties per 100,000 population (KSI and Slight injuries) to sustain best quartile performance. Rec. 48 Rec. 49 Rec. 50 Rec. 51 Rec. 52 Rec. 53 Rec. 54 Rec. 55 Rec. 56 Pursue approved targets for BV105 (damage to roads and pavements) and BV165 to achieve best quartile performance. Pursue approved targets for BV100 (traffic sensitive streets) to improve present level of performance. Pursue approved target for BV165 (percentage of pedestrian crossings with facilities for disabled people to achieve best quartile performance). Complete review and implement outcome of highway safety inspection regime based on pilot study in Northern Division. Implement direct management arrangements for winter maintenance, to deliver improved operational efficiency in line with the conclusions of this Review, including detailed implementation plan to allow initial priority improvements to be in place by winter 2002/03. Following the acquisition and commissioning of the improved street lighting inventory system, review frequency of bulk bulb changing arrangements. Complete review and implement outcome of street cleansing enhancement trial undertaken in Harborough District. Acquire and introduce a Highways Maintenance Management System to deliver improved resource allocation and management. Improve consistency in design standards and application of traffic management policies. Also ensure that as built and traffic management records are consistent and up to date.
18 Rec. 57 Rec. 58 Rec. 59 Rec. 60 Rec. 61 Rec. 62 Ensure that the agreed timetable for the processing and delivery of accident data to the Police is complied with and that maximum use is made of the information in project and programme development. Ensure that safety audits are conducted on programme for all relevant schemes in accordance with service policy. Review arrangements for the provision of legal support to traffic management and network management activity, to ensure that this does not unreasonably constrain the effectiveness of the Service, particularly in the light of changes in County-District Council service delivery arrangements. Pursue opportunities for additional income from New Roads and Street Works Act (NRSWA) responsibilities identified by internal audit report. Secure commercial sponsorship for landscape maintenance of roundabouts, wherever possible. Pursue opportunities for additional income from highways development control regulatory activity including the use of commuted sums for future maintenance and a review of fees. Procurement Rec. 63 Rec. 64 Rec. 65 Develop, gain acceptance for, and implement a procurement strategy for the future delivery of Highway Network Management Services in , following the completion and stabilisation of all new organisational arrangements. The strategy will need to be approved by spring Extend present contractual arrangements to secure continued delivery of capital programme commitments in the medium term pending the development and implementation of new procurement strategy. Develop routine monitoring of out-turn costs for all schemes and services against tendered costs as part of an improved performance management regime.
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