Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Pavement Politics

Had another interesting evening speaking to local residents this evening. Pavements are the type of problem Councillors like to fix. In reality there is a limited amount of money available each year for the purpose, so how it used to work when I was a Councillor was that Councillors are asked to nominate the worst areas in the ward, and footpaths were fixed in order. Everyone would like perfect pavements (but almost certainly wouldn't want to pay for them), and sometimes complaints are about streets that are a long way from worst in the ward. But when you get complaints about footpaths 3 times in 50 yards of canvassing, something has gone wrong. Some of the pavements in the area were merely bad. In parts they were downright dangerous.

This has been reported to the Council via FixMyStreet - be interesting to know if this is just something that inexplicably hadn't been reported before, or is something that is thought to be an acceptable state of repair for the time being.

Another big issue in this area is the Council's closure of Tiverton House. As a non-Councillor, it is hard to keep on top of all the issues considered by the Council, so where better to find information than on the Council's website. Typing 'Tiverton House' into the search box on http://www.cambridge.gov.uk/, and you would think this is a currently available facility (that has just had its lift refurbished!). As a Councillor, I pleaded that the Council should focus its e-government efforts on making comprehensive, reliable and relevant information available on the website - looks like there is still a way to go, but then the Lib Dems did pride themselves on putting their most IT clueless person in charge of the relevant committee (as it was felt more important to sympathise with those who are less IT able than to make competent decisions...). I digress - from a google search for "tiverton house" cambridge, (can't bear to put in a link, lets call it "Cambridge Pravda" some way down the first page of results) I can work out what has happened. Whilst Labour are bemoaning this closure, they might want to ponder the effect of targets and onerous standards from government on the provision of sheltered housing. Anyway, I still can't find out what is likely to happen to the site now - and local residents are concerned about the effects of possibly living next to a large building site...

1 comment:

vernony said...

I have never understood why a hole in the road or a dangerous piece of pavement can still be unrepaired after weeks.
It seems that these minor repairs are treated on a one by one basis .After a month or two somebody comes and sprays a ring around it a month later somebody comes and repairs it. In the meantime, one assumes, the repair has been put out to tender.

What a waste of money an what trival thinking. What is needed is two people one of those small lorries beloved by Gypsies a roller a shovel and a couple of cwts of tar onboard. They will daily and constantly circulate every road and stop and repair, on the spot, any potholes they find and in the case of pavements make them safe until repair can be affected

Don't forget they all have mobile phones so they can be diverted if a crises repair occurs while they are on the road