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COMMITTEE REPORTS

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COMMITTEE REPORTS

    REPORT TO CABINET MEMBER FOR TRANSPORT AND HIGHWAYS

    17 JULY 2006

    REPORT OF CORPORATE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY SERVICES 1. TOWN CENTRE CAR PARKS IMPROVEMENTS

    1.1 Purpose of Report

    To advise Cabinet Member of a proposed programme of works to improve the

    Council’s Mell Square, Lode Lane and Poplar Road (Marks & Spencer) car parks.

    1.2 Background

    1.2.1 Shopping Centre traders have become increasingly concerned about the condition of

    the Solihull Town Centre car parks, and they feel they are losing business as a result

    of shoppers choosing to park at Touchwood car park rather than the Council’s car

    parks. Traders are also concerned that the condition of the car parks is leading to

    problems of theft and damage to shoppers’ vehicles.

    1.2.2 The previous stock condition and structural survey carried out on Town Centre car

    parks, Mell Square, Lode Lane and Poplar Road (Marks & Spencer), resulted in a life

    care plan for the structures prepared by your structural engineers. 1.2.3 During the last four years essential work has been undertaken to ensure the car

    parks are maintained in a safe condition. Currently ?250,000 per annum is

    allocated from the Council’s corporate Capital Programme of works for structural

    works to Mell Square car park.

    1.2.4 Other works highlighted by the stock condition surveys have been assessed and

    prioritised according to need and finance available.

    1.2.5 Regular cross Directorate car park meetings have now been established with a view

    to co-ordinating input and outcomes in respect of car park maintenance, and a report

    was presented to the Asset Management Group on 27 April 2006. This indicated

    within the 2006/07 programme of works, finance was available from prudential

    borrowing in the sum of ?980,000 for general maintenance including decoration of

    stairways and access points, roofing, structural repairs and phase 1 of the proposed

    lighting improvements.

    1.3 Matters for Consideration

    1.3.1 It was highlighted that Overview and Scrutiny Board had been tasked to set up a

    working party to look at key aspects affecting the Council car parks being one of

    them. The areas to be considered will involve looking at logistics, location, cost and

    maintenance on a more global basis. As a result, a scoping document will be

    prepared for the working party.

    1.3.2 Renewal and Maintenance work at this stage has been limited. However, the Asset

    Management Group were happy to continue with works on the electrical works but

    limit the redecoration to communal areas such as the staircases and ramps. At this

    stage they feel it isn’t prudent to do the more extensive cleaning and painting project

    over the whole structure.

    1.3.3 Asset Management Group also approved that the structural works continue, and any

    finance left as a result of limiting the other works will be put towards accelerating the

    structural works programme.

    1.3.4 Recent works have included:

    ? Structural works to Mell Square car park

    ? Works carried out by Property Services under Disabilities and Discrimination Act

    (DDA)

    ? Drainage CCTV survey and blockage clearance

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1.3.5 Following the initial drainage surveys, further works are required to determine what

    works are necessary to clear the obstructions from the drainage systems.

    1.3.6 Works programmed for 2006/07 is attached as Appendix 1.

    1.3.7 A technical consultant has been appointed and will be reviewing existing CCTV

    systems and putting forward recommendations. This will be the subject of a

    separate report on the agenda.

    1.3.8 As part of the car park update meetings, it was proposed to give the Norwich

    Union/Mell Square Partnership greater involvement and improve communication

    between all the stakeholders. The first meeting took place during April 2006, the

    outcome of which was very positive. The representative from the Town Centre

    Partnership welcomed the opportunity to contribute to discussions around how and

    when maintenance works in the future are to be carried out in the Council’s car parks.

    It is hoped that respective stakeholders will now continue to work together to achieve

    real improvements to the car parks for the benefit of all visitors to the town.

    1.4 Community Safety Implications

    1.4.1 The proposed improvements to the car parks will improve the personal safety and

    security to all users and will reduce the risk of injury.

    1.5 Environmental Implications

    1.5.1 The overall improvements should improve the users environment.

    1.6 Risk Implications

    1.6.1 The Corporate Risk Management Approach has been complied with.

    1.6.2 The Approach is not intended to eliminate all risks and not all the risks identified can

    be managed all of the time. Also, risks will still exist that have not been identified.

    1.6.3 However, based on the information provided, it is the officers’ opinion that the

    significant risks associated with this decision / project have been identified, assessed

    and arrangements are in place to manage them effectively.

    1.6.4 This assessment identified there are no net “red” risks that need to be reported.

    1.7 Consultation Undertaken

    Category A: Information gathering

    1.7.1 Consultations with Town Centre Partnership.

    1.8 Equality and Diversity Implications

    1.8.1 Improvements made under DDA should assist members of the public with mobility

    difficulties.

    1.9 Financial Implications

    1.9.1 None for Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways.

    1.9.2 Funding for the following work has been approved from the Property Services

    Programme of Works for 2006/07.

    ? Lighting improvements Marks & Spencer car park ?162,000

    ? Security improvements Mell Square car park ?50,000

    ? Decoration improvements Mell Square and Marks & Spencer ?150,000

    ? Structural repairs Mell Square and Roof repairs - Marks & Spencer ?403,000 1.10 Background Papers

    1.10.1 Report to Asset Management Group dated 27 April 2006.

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FOR DECISION

    Cabinet Member is asked to note the proposed

    improvements to the Mell Square, Lode Lane and Poplar

    Road (Marks & Spencer) car parks as detailed in the report.

    Report Author: Dave Bradbury Tel: 0121 704 6424

    E-mail: dbradbury@solihull.gov.uk Contact Officer: John Taylor Tel: 0121 704 6425

    E-mail: johntaylor@solihull.gov.uk Ward Affected: St Alphege

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