Saturday 29 October 2016

Cracks appear in Labour's approach to pavements as Barnet Labour calls for choice

Image from RAT - Resistance Against Tarmac

So, continuing to look at what our neighbouring boroughs are doing and saying, here is Barnet Labour Party (in opposition) taking a rather different approach  to Brent Labour (in power) on the tarmac versus paving debate.  LINK:

Tarmac v Paving: Labour call for residents to be given a choice over pavement resurfacing

Labour councillors are calling for residents to be given a choice between tarmac and paving slabs for pavement resurfacing after receiving complaints about newly completed tarmac treatments in Beresford Road, East Finchley, and a petition from residents living in Granville Road N12.

The Granville Road petition, which will be discussed at the Finchley & Golders Green Area Committee on 26 October, says: “The overwhelming majority of people we spoke to do not want a cheaper tarmac surface on the pavements if this is indeed the proposal. There are many concerns about how it will look, that it will bring down the appearance of the road, that it will be uneven, that it won't last and will crack, that it will become sticky in the summer, that it will encourage even more vehicle drivers to mount the pavement.”

The petition also states that residents are given only two weeks’ notice of pavement works with no real way to respond as the contact number given on the letters is not answered and messages left have not been returned by the Council.

Barnet Council has received seven separate complaints from residents in Beresford Road about the tarmac resurfacing recently completed there which has featured in the Evening Standard on 13 October.

The Conservative-run Council are planning to save £550,000 in reactive road and pavement maintenance by moving to different resurfacing methods. For pavements this means completely replacing paving with tarmac or using tarmac with some block paving for vehicle crossovers and margins. Only pavements in town centres and conservation areas will have paving slabs replaced.

The new tarmac pavement treatments form part of plans by the Council to spend £50m on road and pavement resurfacing across the borough between 2015-2020. However, the Council’s published news release on the issue (20 October) showed a picture of paving slabs being used rather than tarmac. Labour councillors believe this is misleading to the public. The letters sent to residents have also been totally misleading as they have stated "we will be laying paving in your road", despite the fact the Council intends to use tarmac.

Labour councillors have also highlighted complaints from residents about the cheaper road surface dressing that leaves loose chips on roads.

Repair of roads and quality of pavements are two of the lowest rated universal services in Barnet according to the Council’s most recent Residents’ Perception Survey.

Only 27% of residents responding to the Survey rated repair of roads highly – 14% points lower than London (41%), and down 8% points from autumn 2015 (35%); and only 33% of residents rated quality of pavements highly – 8% points lower than London (41%), and down 1% point on autumn 2015 (34%).

The Survey also showed that the state of roads and pavements is the second highest concern amongst residents.

Barnet Labour's Environment Spokesperson, Cllr Alan Schneiderman said:
The decision to use tarmac rather than paving stones has been imposed without residents being consulted. Residents have also been misled by being sent letters saying that paving will be laid in their road when in fact they have no choice but tarmac.

We need to do all we can to minimise trips and falls and repair footways, but I want to see residents given a choice between using paving stones or tarmac for their road.
Wembley Matters additional comment:

Just in case one of the Brent Conervatibe groups wants to take up the issue this is what Barnet Conservatives (in power) had to say LINK:

According to Cllr Dean Cohen, Conservative for Golders Green, asphalt is being used in “appropriate areas” because it is “safer, more durable and cheaper to maintain over their life”.

Cllr Cohen, who chairs the environment committee, said: “We know that the quality of pavements is a top priority for residents which is why we are investing £8m this year alone on footways.

“Asphalt surfaces enable a greater number of roads to benefit from the programme of investment – this was a committee decision which Labour members did not oppose.

“The council will continue to engage with residents as clearly as possible ahead of work taking place."


Anonymous said...

Most of these people voted for low taxes and George Osborne's austerity.

So let them eat asphalt.

Anonymous said...

Overall should we not be looking at what fits in with the current situation and environment and hoping that the contractors fulfil their obligations in retaining good maintenance and not shit contractors producing some half assed bodge job.

Jaine Lunn said...

We need to ensure that whatever council is in charge they are getting value for money in repairing our pavements and roads. Irrespective of where it is, we should ensure that they are in keeping with the neighbourhood, viable and serviceable. I question the Officers of the council who are hiring contractors to do a second rate job that has no longevity and are not fit for purpose. Sorry to digress but the Romans built Roads, Buildings and footways that have lasted a 1,000 years. There are many places around the U.K. it can be seen and walked on today. So what is Brent, Barnet and others doing to rectify this? Surely it can't be that difficult to create sustainable footpaths, walkways and roads that will stand the test of time? If only we invest in the right surface.... Stone slabs, granite, marble, well it only took millions of years in the making. Rant over.

Communitarian said...

It is important not to present unqualified opinion as fact. It only succeeds in causing offence and obfuscating the very real issue of environmental destruction on a wider scale and at enormous cost.