Our Saturday independent columnist, Observer, thought they had stumbled on a solution to the patchwork quilt of asphalt which passes for roads in Uckfield and beyond. There is, however, a but . . .
Last week I remarked on people power DIY filling the gaps caused by cutbacks to services provided by local government.
I said fixing the roads was out of the question, noting: “Road mending is just not feasible.”
Surprise, surprise, here’s what I found while again working this week north west of London.
My local website for the week – the Oxford Mail – reported that parish councils “may take responsibility for roads”.
A flawed solution
This report really caught my eye. Here, I thought, was the solution we are all looking for.
The report read:
“Parish and town councils [in Oxfordshire] are being encouraged to fund and take responsibility for repairing potholes, installing road signs and maintaining kerbs.
‘Eyes & Ears’ volunteers would be relied upon to reduce the need for the council to send an officer in person while ‘FixMyStreet superusers’ – also local volunteers – could order pothole repair works using the council’s intervention criteria.”
It didn’t take me long to realise that the key phrase is “to fund”.
A parish council chairman in Oxfordshire said they had declined the offer and the initiative was a “backwards step”.
He said: “The county council collects money from people for this sort of work so they should be doing it.
“Some years ago we took on the grass cutting, they gave us a grant initially to make it appealing but then it was slowly reduced and taken away.”
Bang on the money Mr Parish Council Chairman.
Asking town and parish councils to fund the repair of potholes is double taxation.
We pay the county council to look after the roads.
East Sussex County Council tried the same trick over grass cutting and has succeeded in some places in the county. It still collects your council tax but has persuaded other lower tier councils to do the work – at their expense.
Fortunately, Uckfield Town Council did not fall for this.
You cannot expect us to pay twice for the same job.
Melting in the heat 1
Govia Thameslink Railway. The service – especially on Thameslink – is nothing short of pathetic.
Here, the Uckfield Line bumbles along with cancellations, late running and Crowborough reverses.
It has come to a pretty pass when the Uckfield Line is seen as doing well (comparatively, speaking, of course).
Melting in the heat 2
Wealden District Council. The refuse/recycling collections have lurched from bad to worse.
Bins are missed, streets are ignored, complaints unanswered, promises broken.
We pay Wealden District Council for this service.
It is Wealden District Council which is failing.
It is Wealden District Council which appointed a private contractor to do the work.
It is time for Wealden District Council to put matters right.
Get it sorted.
A council tax ‘strike’ by everyone in Wealden might focus councillors’ minds.
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