To present the TfN Business Plan for 2022/23
LEAD: Paul Kelly
5.1 Mr Kelly thought it would be useful for the A & G Committee to formally see the Business Plan. Mr Foster has joined the meeting today to answer any questions. Members received the report of Mr Kelly who together with Mr Foster highlighted the key aspects of the report.
5.2 The Chair believed the plan was informative and highlighted that the list of KPIs in the risk register goes through to March 2023 but there are less on the Business Plan. Mr Kelly will review the Plan and update the Committee.
5.3 Mr Brady asked how the Business Plan influences the Committee’s work plan going forward and asked whether the Business Plan is fully captured in the risk register? He also raised the issue of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure (EVCI) which has not been discussed by the Committee so far, nor is it on the risk register, even though it is in the Business Plan. Mr Kelly stated that this is an omission and will be picked up.
5.4 Cllr Little stated that EVCI was problematic for transport authorities and enquired as to whether TfN are working with individual contractors, companies or providers or looking to ask Government for support. He explained that the North of England are behind with regards to EVCI and there is a need for a closer relationship between TfN, LTA’s and the Government on this, in order for the North to catch up. He requested that this be brought back to the November meeting.
5.5 Cllr Mundry believes that the North are drifting into an ad hoc way of looking at our transport. He stated that rather than being a Transport for the North, it appears that Districts and Governments are doing their own thing, with TfN trying to co-ordinate . He stated that TfN need to find a way of having an overview of everything that is going on and link everybody together so that there is an overall Northern plan and a succinct way of putting it all together. He stated the need for proper infrastructure and a plan for the future. The Chair said from a strategic perspective, that speaks about the wider risk of TfNs relevance and on-going viability.
5.6 Mr Foster explained that there are three dimensions to what Cllr Mundry has set out. He explained that the Department is looking at guidance for local transport plans and for the first time, wants to define the role of STB’s and specifically for TfN as a Statutory Transport Body; TfN are feeding into that process in areas such as Decarbonisation and EVCI. Secondly, as TfN updates and refreshes the Statutory Transport Plan (STP2) for the North, , it provides the opportunity to set out, areas of work where the North is going to decide to take a collective view about things and what it is that TfN as an organisation is doing to support LTA’s. The new STP2 will give an opportunity to be more specific about these things.
On the issue of funding and the Business Plan for the next two financial years, he outlined the messages that TfN will look to give the DfT in the autumn. He explained that there is no long-term certainty from the Department on funding and the organisation needs to ensure that its finances and funding are provided on a sustainable basis alongside a clear view, agreed with the Board and the Department, about TfN’s role and remit.
5.7 Members stated that a Northern view and a streamline of regular funding is required. They expressed their frustration with the current process, where Local Authorities bid against each other for money to try and do projects within their areas. They expressed a need to combine resources in order to achieve a northern vision. The Chair requested that these points be revisited at the next meeting.
1) That the Committee notes the content of the 2022/23 Business Plan.
2) That EVCI to be brought to the November A & G meeting.
3) The Northern transport vision to be picked up at the November A & G meeting.