Village’s formal complaint over state of roads

Pitted - potholes are getting worse and they are being overlooked by the reporting system, claims Craig Wood from Burton Pedwardine parish meeting. EMN-190319-133213001
Pitted - potholes are getting worse and they are being overlooked by the reporting system, claims Craig Wood from Burton Pedwardine parish meeting. EMN-190319-133213001

Parish representatives have raised a formal complaint about the county council’s management of the highways through their village.

The Parish Meeting of the Burton Pedwardine and Burton Gorse has made the matter official with Lincolnshire county Council and their local ward member, Coun Barry Young after previously raising concerns by residents that their country roads were getting worse, not better since the introduction of additional funds to tackle potholes.

Chairman of the Parish Meeting Craig Wood says: “Matters have disintegrated (like our roads) to the extent that the County Council is now claiming to fix reported issues when no work of any kind has been carried out.

“Furthermore, the Village Meeting will be voting on a motion of no confidence in the County Council at the next AGM.

“We may represent the lowest tier in local government, but as a community we expect our concerns to be dealt with in a professional manner. We constantly hear that the County Council has limited funds to pay for road repairs, yet even those funds are being mismanaged through a haphazard and unreliable process.”

Mr Wood said they had encouraged residents to pass highway faults to the Parish Meeting officials to log via the county’s online, FixMyStreet system,but he said: “In recent weeks a number of defects have been reported that are later confirmed as ‘fixed’ when no work of any sort has been carried out.”

In particular he reported potholes across Helpringham Road but this defect was reported as ‘fixed’ on March 6, yet no work of any kind had been carried out.

Another pothole at the junction with Heckington Road was reported ‘fixed’ on February 25 but again no work had been done; the pothole is full of water.

He added that the road had been deteriorating due to increased heavy vehicle traffic from the biogas plant at Holdingham travelling to spread waste on fields as fertiliser.

Mr Wood said complaints have been made about the glitches but they were “fobbed off” being told to report them again.

He listed further examples as well.

Mr Wood commented: “Whilst an occasional administrative mishap may be acceptable, it is clear that Lincolnshire County Council has a systematic issue with the management of highways defects.”

He said there were either failures in the administrative process where defects are being marked as fixed before this is the case (he suggested this could cynically look like ‘massaging the statistics’, or the council’s contractors were being paid for work not carried out.

Mr Wood said: “What is the council spending its money on, because it is not on this part of the world? The roads concerned are getting to the point of becoming dangerous because they are subsiding so much. The two sides of the road are being pushed into the ditches and giving way, with a big hump in the middle.

“We have tried to be nice about this but are being ignored.”

Executive member for highways, Coun Richard Davies has responded saying: “I can assure the parish meeting its complaint will be dealt with immediately and a thorough investigation will take place. Once that investigation has concluded, we will be in a position to comment further.”