New cycle routes and budget overspend features of cabinet meeting

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Pleasure Fair Meadows Car Park - a new cycle route down Oundle Road could start here. Photo: John Baker

The council is hoping to install new on-road cycling schemes at three locations in the city, using £625k of funds from the Government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund submitted via the combined authority.

The funding came with the instruction that local authorities should reallocate road space in favour of pedestrians and cyclists by using temporary pop-up facilities such as highway barriers.

A cross-party Working Group of five members will help deliver the schemes by March 2021, together with the monitoring of the measures delivered.

The proposed locations, to be discussed by the cabinet on Monday at 10am via a virtual meeting, are:

  • Oundle Rd from Pleasure Fair Meadows car park to Lady Lodge Drive
  • Park Road from Huntly Rd to Dogsthorpe Rd
  • Broadway from junction of Eastfield Rd to Park Crescent

The council has already received funding of approximately £175k in 'tranche one funding', and while plans for Broadway and Cowgate were shelved, other temporary measures have been put in place on Crescent Bridge and Priestgate.

The council is expecting to hear in September how much funding it will be allocated for the new proposals in 'Phase 2', but all funding must be spent this financial year. 

Five members will sit on the Working Group, with one representative from each political party (nominations to be sought from Group Leaders), together with officer representation as appropriate.

The Working Group has no decision-making powers; its purpose is to aid greater understanding of issues, options, consultation and scheme development in relation to the Council’s delivery of the Emergency Active Travel Fund grant.

Other items to be discussed include the Budgetary Control position for 2020/21, which as at July 2020 is a forecast overspend of £9.6m against budget. This includes the current estimated impact of Covid-19, including factors such as:

  • The council has taken additional steps in ensuring that rough sleepers and homeless families have temporary accommodation and a safe place to self- isolate due to Covid-19 pandemic.
  • There is pressure on property income due to Covid-19 having an impact on the council’s ability to rent out further space in Sand Martin House this year.
  • The council's resources directorate has been unable to deliver the proposed savings in the Peterborough Serco Strategic Partnership contract, meaning that the Business Support Notice of change/ new model hub implementation has been postponed and will not be implemented during 2020/2021.
  • There has been additional expenditure in adult services, and more funds needed to support children and families due to factors such as increases in children with disabilities packages and increased placement costs. Providers have needed to increase costs of placements to accommodate additional expenditure on Covid-19 relate requirements.
  • There have been further pressures such as loss of income for Clare Lodge (providing secure accommodation for young people who may have extensive histories of abuse and sexual exploitation, poor attachments, drug and alcohol misuse, mental health issues and self-harm). Children are only being moved and accommodated on emergency basis during Covid-19, so placement demand is low. Also, the new procedures at Clare Lodge require new admissions to self-isolate for 14 days which is also influencing decision making by placing authorities. The delay to the Capital project to refurbish lounges means that two lounges are currently not available for use.

Cabinet members will also discuss two e-petitions submitted earlier this year:

  • An e-petition for safe crossing at Coneygree Road, submitted on February 2020, contained 156 valid signatures. The Principal Sustainable Transport Planning Officer responded: "We receive a number of requests for new crossings and we assess each one to see if a crossing can be justified. The assessment process, known as a PV2 assessment, counts the number of vehicles and the number of people crossing the road to give a weighted score. "Sites that score highly enough will then be progressed through to design options for a new crossing. We have a number of sites that we need to assess but we will add this to our list and undertake the survey in the near future.”
  • An e-petition to Stop the Cuts to the Baby Café, submitted by Oscar Butler online on April 27, contained 45 valid signatures. It called on the Council “to Reverse the decision to pull funding to pay for qualified breastfeeding counsellors from the contract the PCC has with National Childbirth Trust ”. The Commissioning Team Manager for the Healthy Child Programme responded: "Peterborough City Council are committed to supporting mothers throughout their breastfeeding journey and commission a range of support options suited to meet the needs of local families. A decision was taken to not renew the Baby Café licenses from 2020/21, in favour of a new delivery model which will be facilitated by trained Peer Supporter group leaders."