Protecting road, transport and environment services
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Proposals to meet savings across Economy, Transport and Environment services without impacting on frontline services will be presented to Hampshire County Council's Executive Member for Environment and Transport, Councillor Mel Kendal on 22 January 2013.
The priority within the budget of almost £110 million is to maintain support for those services that aid Hampshire's economy and are important to residents such as road maintenance, transport and waste management and recycling.
Recommendations for reducing the budget by two per cent, to help meet major pressures in some areas, include over £660,000 saved through the department's ongoing programme to improve administrative procedures. Included in this figure are savings to be made in streamlining back office systems across the department's services, as well as the co-location of the Council's and contractor highways staff at depots (thereby reducing spend on overheads and rent costs). Additionally, £300,000 will now be saved on street lighting energy costs through more energy efficient lighting and a recent renegotiation of the energy supply contract for street lighting to secure a better greener energy deal.
The report confirms that support for the Hampshire Concessionary Fares Scheme is to be maintained, but also recognises that the service will come under increasing demand in future years as the number of eligible pass holders rises with an ageing population. There are no planned reductions to the £5.1 million subsidies the County Council pays bus operators to run services that are not commercially viable. Public and community transport services are expected to come under increased pressure due to rising fuel costs and reduced public sector funding, leading to changes in the availability of public transport services.
The County Council is continuing its support and investment in the community and voluntary transport sector. This sector is playing an important part already in meeting gaps in public transport provision, to ensure people can access health, education, employment and training services.
Continued success in securing capital funding for transport and infrastructure from central Government will help the County Council further its investment in planned roads maintenance programmes and transport infrastructure improvement schemes. A £60 million capital investment programme for 2013/4 is proposed, with plans for similar levels of investment over the following two years. This major investment programme is vital to support the economy and encourage business and employment growth in difficult economic times. It will also help the County Council maintain its expertise and delivery capacity which help to secure and deliver future infrastructure investment to support our economy into the future.
- Agenda and papers for the meeting of the Executive Member for Environment and Transport on 22 January 2013