Members Agree Extra Roads Resource
Tuesday, 08 November 2022 15:55
Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Finance, Procurement and Transformation Committee met today (Tuesday 8 November) and agreed an £800,000 allocation for key projects and programmes in the Council’s Roads and Infrastructure Service.
This funding will be used to hire additional temporary staffing resource until March 2024. The new staff will be employed to help with the Winter Service Plan to treat roads and pedestrian areas to assist the Council in meeting its statutory duty, as well as improving the condition of roads across Dumfries and Galloway.
As well as this, there are a number of cross-service arrangements in place, so that staff can be used in other roles, should the weather dictate that winter operations are not required as well as when they are required to be working on winter operations. Such tasks may include gully and drain clearing and general roads maintenance. The need for on-call and standby arrangements as well as the legal complexities of driving hours mean that the Roads and Infrastructure Service needs a good level of resilience to be able to operate effectively and efficiently all year round, but especially over the Autumn and Winter, where weather is generally worse.
The new operatives will not only focus on winter operations though. They will be responsible for the repair of road and pedestrian surfaces in spring and summer, when the damage ice, snow and rain has caused can be properly assessed. Having additional resource will also allow the Council to respond to reports of road and footway defects in a timelier manner. As well as the operatives, the funding will allow for some temporary resource to develop and implement a number of significant capital projects across the service, in line with the approach many other local authorities take.
The agreement of this funding will allow for a dozen positions to be filled, as well as freeing up funds for the flexibility and resilience of having staff on standby. This additional investment will sit beside that investment that has already been made in the service via the asset class capital investment and the roads recovery fund.
Councillor Carolyne Wilson, Chair of Finance, Procurement & Transformation Committee said:
“This additional investment will allow our Council to keep our residents and visitors safer during winter. While we will still not be able to grit every road and clear every pathway, the extra resource will be of great assistance and will complement the already wonderful work all of our community resilience groups across the region undertake.”
Councillor Dougie Campbell, Vice Chair of Finance, Procurement & Transformation Committee followed on:
“Our Council acknowledged there were historical issues in our Roads and Infrastructure Service and has worked hard to address these. The service is in a much-improved position now and that is due to a number of key factors, one of which is investment. We will continue to push forward and invest in services to allow us to serve the public effectively.”The report can be viewed at https://dumfriesgalloway.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s44123/Roads%20and%20Infrastructure%20Service%20Resources.pdf