Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text WILTS TIMES to 80360 or email us
Our streets are still grubby say families
2:16pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in Wiltshire
Concerns are still being raised over Wiltshire Council’s £150 million highway maintenance contract, despite the Councillor in charge insisting things are back on track.
Responsibility for the county’s road management and maintenance was passed to Balfour Beatty in June as part of a multi-million pound deal, but residents are still complaining over uncut hedgerows and untidy verges.
Cllr John Thomson, the deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for highways, admitted contractors had fallen behind with grass cutting, but claimed the backlog had been cleared.
He said: “I think they underestimated some of the equipment requirements in the early stages, but now they have got the more heavy duty gear.”
He also suggested he would be willing to strip Balfour Beatty of the contract if problems persisted.
He said: “We are probably a lot tougher than some councils are in managing contracts and, in the past, I have taken contracts off that have not been delivered.
“I am more than happy to make these tough decisions if I have to. They know that.”
However many people across Wiltshire are still unhappy with the service provided by the new contractors.
James McDonald is chairman of the Tenants and Residents Association on Trowbridge’s Longmeadow Estate, which lies in the shadow of County Hall.
He said: “I am out on the estate regularly and you can see there are jobs which haven’t been done in quite a while.
“We have got shrubs overgrown by four or five feet, and you can see the weeds growing up the pathways.
“We try and do our bit and organise three or four community litter picks a year, but you don’t ever see anyone from the council there doing it.”
l Balfour Beatty has cut down eight dead trees for Wiltshire Council from outside The Gateway shopping centre in Trowbridge.
Cllr Thomson has said that the trees aren’t covered by the highways contract as they are not owned by the council.
He said: “I got a team down there as it needed doing and I thought we’d sort out who owns them afterwards.”
The council have contacted the Land Registry for clarification on ownership of the tress.
Comments are closed on this article.