Wiltshire residents on the verge of anger

Vanessa Petrie in Manor Fields, Bratton

Cllr Helen Osborn in Chepston Place, Trowbridg

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Questions have been raised over Wiltshire Council’s £150 million highways contract, following weeks of delays and postponements to routine road maintenance.

Balfour Beatty Living Places took over the county’s grass cutting, litter collection and street lighting on June 1. Since then there have been claims verges have grown to dangerous levels and roads remain unswept.

Wiltshire Cllr Jeff Osborn said: “The grass verges are unbelievable. If you have got a contract it’s up to the contractor to fulfil his obligations, so when this little storm is over the question still remains; is this contract up to specification?”

Overgrown verges have also been reported in Semington, Melksham and Bratton, while business owners in Trowbridge have been sweeping their own streets.

Vanessa Petrie, of Manor Fields, Bratton, said: “Children can hide in the grass – it’s that long – and there are some roundabouts where the grass is so long that you can’t see around them for oncoming traffic. ”

Michael Lojko, owner of The Old Sweet Works antique shop on Church Street, Trowbridge said: “The dust and grime is everywhere with the traffic coming up and down, and there’s been no one doing the roads. Once you get debris building up it all blows inside the shop.”

John Thomson, Wiltshire Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “There has obviously been a delay, but BBLP are up and running now. There have been challenges, but I am very pleased they are getting to grips with it. If there are areas people are concerned about, do let us know.”

Leanne Lamberton of Balfour Beatty Living Places said: “We have assigned a large team to work extended hours to reduce the backlog of work required. We expect to be back on schedule with the grass cutting programme by the end of next week.”

Comments (6)

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9:32pm Fri 21 Jun 13

Mi_Coc says...

That is a not a couple of weeks growth. Truth is the previous contractor stopped the works over a week before balfours took over the contract so they started on a backlog. These works were previously carried out by a contractor and Wiltshire council community teams who have been taken on by Balfour Beatty. There is of course a hand over period bb have to assess each member of staffs compedancies they must be trained in some new equipment and the procedures ad strick health safety rules that a company with Balfour beattys excellent safety record with their commitment to zero harm to all its staff.
That is a not a couple of weeks growth. Truth is the previous contractor stopped the works over a week before balfours took over the contract so they started on a backlog. These works were previously carried out by a contractor and Wiltshire council community teams who have been taken on by Balfour Beatty. There is of course a hand over period bb have to assess each member of staffs compedancies they must be trained in some new equipment and the procedures ad strick health safety rules that a company with Balfour beattys excellent safety record with their commitment to zero harm to all its staff. Mi_Coc
  • Score: -3

1:41am Sat 22 Jun 13

rabbitrr says...

Not good enough. If the changover had been planned correctly then there wold have been a seamless change with no break in the work.

Looks like BBLP have 'bought' the contract and are already looking to cut the workforce so they can then make money. Sadly I can only see it going downhill from here.
Not good enough. If the changover had been planned correctly then there wold have been a seamless change with no break in the work. Looks like BBLP have 'bought' the contract and are already looking to cut the workforce so they can then make money. Sadly I can only see it going downhill from here. rabbitrr
  • Score: 3

8:44am Sat 22 Jun 13

beetawix says...

As time progresses, then in most repeated endeavours, man's expertise becomes better and better ...with the exception of mowing and highway maintenance and a few other council 'managed' activities.
As time progresses, then in most repeated endeavours, man's expertise becomes better and better ...with the exception of mowing and highway maintenance and a few other council 'managed' activities. beetawix
  • Score: 2

12:22pm Sat 22 Jun 13

snowy3 says...

Verges have been cut here in the last 24 hours and a better job was done than previously. We have to question why councillors seem to have been unaware of what was going on and why. They could not tell us, in the weeks we have been complaining of the danger posed by drivers' vision being obscured by the excessive growth on verges.
Verges have been cut here in the last 24 hours and a better job was done than previously. We have to question why councillors seem to have been unaware of what was going on and why. They could not tell us, in the weeks we have been complaining of the danger posed by drivers' vision being obscured by the excessive growth on verges. snowy3
  • Score: 1

1:34pm Mon 24 Jun 13

Mi_Coc says...

rabbitrr wrote:
Not good enough. If the changover had been planned correctly then there wold have been a seamless change with no break in the work. Looks like BBLP have 'bought' the contract and are already looking to cut the workforce so they can then make money. Sadly I can only see it going downhill from here.
Just point out that is not one or two weeks growth. Some of the previous teams and contractors ceased up to 7 days before the 1st of june and so some areas have been left and cannot be balmed on balfour beatty.

The problem is WC did not manage the previous contractors and make sure they completed their works in the last two weeks of the old contract.

BBLP start and there two weeks behind truth be told!
[quote][p][bold]rabbitrr[/bold] wrote: Not good enough. If the changover had been planned correctly then there wold have been a seamless change with no break in the work. Looks like BBLP have 'bought' the contract and are already looking to cut the workforce so they can then make money. Sadly I can only see it going downhill from here.[/p][/quote]Just point out that is not one or two weeks growth. Some of the previous teams and contractors ceased up to 7 days before the 1st of june and so some areas have been left and cannot be balmed on balfour beatty. The problem is WC did not manage the previous contractors and make sure they completed their works in the last two weeks of the old contract. BBLP start and there two weeks behind truth be told! Mi_Coc
  • Score: -1

1:39pm Mon 24 Jun 13

Mi_Coc says...

BBLP have not bought the work they have taken on the staff previously used from 3 different organisations. The only staff who have left, have of their own accord.

The council failed to manage the previous contractors who ins ome cases ceased working two weeks before the handove date. So BBLP started with a two week backlog in some cases. They have in some cases brought in agency staff to get on top of areas so buying the contract and making cuts was never the intention nor is it happening.
BBLP have not bought the work they have taken on the staff previously used from 3 different organisations. The only staff who have left, have of their own accord. The council failed to manage the previous contractors who ins ome cases ceased working two weeks before the handove date. So BBLP started with a two week backlog in some cases. They have in some cases brought in agency staff to get on top of areas so buying the contract and making cuts was never the intention nor is it happening. Mi_Coc
  • Score: 0

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