Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) Cabinet has approved fundingtotalling £2,795k for a range projects to improve and upgrade services from waste disposal to school buses. &n...
Warwickshire County Council’s (WCC) Cabinet has approved fundingtotalling £2,795k for a range projects to improve and upgrade services from waste disposal to school buses.
Funding for the following projects has been approved:
Waste containers for the county’s Household Waste Recycling Centres: £238k for the purchase of 60 waste containers for the county’s Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs).
The County Council currently hires containers for the storage and transport of waste as part of a HWRC haulage contract - a 10-year agreement due to end in Autumn 2021. However, the Council can now reduce its usage of hired containers, and save the hire fee, earlier than the end date at no cost. Buying its own containers will save hire costs, give better value for money and mean it holds and controls its own assets.
15 buses to take children from home to school: £810k for the purchase of 15 buses to take children from home to school. The total cost for this project is £885k with the remainder to be funded from the sale of existing vehicles.
The County Council has a fleet of buses which enables it to meet its statutory requirements to ensure that children meeting the criteria for free home to school transport (H2ST) receive the necessary assistance. H2ST is a mixture of council owned buses, and contracted services including buses, coaches, specialist vehicles and taxis, with assessed operators driving children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and mainstream children from home to school.
The current owned-fleet consists of 38 buses. A significant portion are becoming unreliable, but it’s increasingly difficult to source parts. They are also very fuel inefficient (around 8 mpg), too large and with the wrong configuration of seating to meet the needs of the service. The new buses will reduce costs due to fuel efficiencies and reduced maintenance.
Upgrade three County Council owned gypsy and traveller sites: £660k to redevelop and upgrade gypsy and traveller sites at Griff Hollows, Pathlow and Alvecote. The funding is for significant improvements to these sites, including purpose-built day room facilities at Griff Hollows, Nuneaton. Also, the boundary fencing at each of the sites needs to be reinstated and repaired to prevent unauthorised encampments and associated activity, such as fly tipping.
New office space at Holly Walk, Leamington Spa: £512k to create office space at the County Council owned Holly Walk, at a total cost of £1.012 million, with £500k funded from a Coventry and Warwickshire LEP grant. Leamington is home to the largest cluster of gaming companies - by economic value - outside London.
This is a dynamic and growing sector, and the County Council’s Inward Investment Team is currently working with a number of gaming businesses that are looking for larger open plan office spaces currently not available in the town centre. The proposal is to renovate the vacant office accommodation to create much needed new office space, aimed at medium-sized businesses, to complement and support the smaller office/ incubation space that both exists and should be coming on stream in Leamington in the future.
Cllr Peter Butlin, Warwickshire County Council's Deputy Leader, said: "These projects are great news for our residents. They reflect our priorities set out in our Covid-19 Recovery Plan which focuses on supporting the region’s economic recovery; supporting our residents through this challenging time; tackling inequalities; working with partners to speed up recovery and focusing on environmental challenges.
"The new waste containers will save money in the long run and be more cost effective; the new school buses mean we continue to ensure the most vulnerable in our community get to school safely, they will also reduce costs due to fuel efficiencies and reduced maintenance; the upgrade to our gypsy and traveller sites shows our commitment to supporting all members of our community; while the investment in new medium sized office space at Holly Walk, Leamington Spa will provide the space needed for the local economy to grow.”