Councillor gets review of highways reporting problems

Local Liberal Democrat Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani has received assurances that a review of the reporting of highways issues will take place, after a four-foot hole in a Grotton street was reported as “completed”.

When Councillor Sam Al-Hamdani first reported the issue, there was a small sunken section of the road on the junction of Thornley Park Road and Station Lane. It was promptly picked up by the Council team for work, inspected, and a repair started.

However, after the highways system issued a “completed” notice, Sam was surprised to find the area surrounded by bollards, covered over with a temporary plate, under which was a much larger hole, several feet deep. 

Despite reporting this to the highways team, two weeks later the repair was still marked as complete, so Councillor Al-Hamdani took it up with the senior managers.

Councillor Al-Hamdani said: “It really makes a mockery of the system when you can turn up to a great big hole in the floor that someone has marked as ‘complete’. It means you have no idea if work is in progress, or if it has fallen through the cracks. There is a lot of good work going on, but it gets completely undermined when something like this happens – if you can’t always trust what you are told, it means more work for everyone; double checking, updating the system, chasing up.”

Having spoken to the highways officers, the team have agreed to review the problems with the reporting system.

Councillor Al-Hamdani continued: “The first part of the system is very good, and I would encourage people to use it. I regularly get problems with potholes fixed all across the ward – in the past week, we have had the teams out doing repairs on Belmont Avenue and Stoneleigh Road. However, the system seems to break down once there is a complex problem. 

“In this case, the repair has disappeared into this black hole of reporting, from which it is very difficult to ever get anything back out. The Council must make sure that its systems work all the way through. Clear communication is essential, as is making sure that more complex problems have a clear way of being dealt with.”

The highways team have acknowledged that the repairs are still ongoing, following the report by Councillor Al-Hamdani.

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