Tag Archives: Leicestershire County Council

No time for a potty policy on pot-holes

Much humour has been generated by the damage caused to roads in Enderby.

In particular, a pothole at the junction of Townsend Road and George Street attracted the comment “Breaking News….. Good news for Enderby! New open air, free for all, swimming pool opens in Enderby today! Well located at the junction of Townsend Road and George Street, get your cosie on and jump on in! Best to leave your car at home….”

Potholes
Photo: Facebook, Keith Johnson, All Things Enderby.

Cost is undoubtedly at the heart of the issues concerning the maintenance of the roads and streets that network within and between centres of suburban or rural communities such as that found with our district of Blaby.

It is easy to feel that Enderby is unique in the extent and degree of damage to our roads but in reality the problem is both widespread and serious and any remedy will require ‘long-term’ and perhaps innovative solutions.

Recent government figures reveal that spending by councils on road maintenance is now at its lowest level in ten years.

Statistics from the Department for Transport show that local authority maintenance spending on B roads, C roads, and unclassified routes was just £1.87bn in 2016-17. This is a significant reduction from the £2.46bn spent in 2004-05.

It is worth mentioning that Leicestershire is the lowest-funded county in the country. The County Council has been calling for fair Central Government Funding for many years. It is also calling for a new system to be introduced when deciding the funding that matches an area’s needs, which (of interest to readers of Enderby EYE) includes the high proportion of roads [in the County] travelled by HGVs.

So, how does a County Council deal with potholes?

All potholes need to be classified, before repairs can be scheduled, so when a member of the public reports a pothole they say they “will ensure an inspector visits and classifies the problem”.

Potholes are generally classified according to how serious they are and that assessment dictates how quickly they are fixed:

Major defects

  • Require prompt attention as they represent an immediate or imminent hazard or a risk of short-term structural deterioration.
  • These defects will be fixed or made safe at the time of inspection, if reasonably practicable.
  • If it’s not possible to fix or make the defect safe at time of inspection, repairs of a temporary, or permanent nature will be done as soon as practicable.

Non ‘major’ defects

  • Require attention, but do not represent an immediate or imminent hazard.
  • These defects have a target repair period of longer duration after being reported by the public or will be included within a planned highways maintenance programme.

Potholes or defects on roads or pavements in Leicestershire can be reported through the County Council’s online form

It will no doubt cost a sizeable amount of money but in order to prevent potholes from re-appearing shortly after an ‘initial’ repair requires material of a high quality and a strategy/methodology of applying ‘permanent’ treatments that prevent damage to the fabric of the pavement or roadway.

The principle of not so much “fixing the roof while the sun shines” but rather “fixing the road while the sun shines” applies.

Potholes often appear after rain or during thaw periods when roads and pavements are weaker. Water penetrates the surface, softening the underlying layers, which increases deflections or eruptions. Constant traffic flow over a damaged area exacerbates the problem and relatively small areas of damage quickly become enlarged.

It is pointless and counter-productive to attempt repair during inclement weather (unless such a distressed area is a major hazard).

Such damage impacts on road safety. Apart from damage to vehicle suspension etc., motorcyclists and cyclists are obliged to swerve to avoid potholes, thus placing themselves and other road users at risk.

The RAC report that drivers contribute more than £45bn in motoring taxation every year: 5p a litre from existing fuel duty over five years would raise £12bn – that’s the estimated one-off cost of fixing our roads.

In order to avoid drifting into becoming a first-world society with third-world highway infrastructure and in order to avoid the risk of litigation, those with the power to shape the budgets of local authorities must drill through the electorate’s humorous coping mechanisms and seriously address the problem caused by quick-fix, band-aid solutions to the maintaining of the County’s roads – both major and minor, which simply don’t hack it.

Lightbulb project shines at LGC Awards

A partnership project hosted by Blaby District Council was a winner at the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards on 21st March.

In partnership with Leicestershire County Council, district councils, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) and Leicestershire Partnership Trust, the Lightbulb project was shortlisted alongside some of local government’s most innovative initiatives, and was the winning entry in the Public/Public Partnership category for its work in supporting vulnerable people to live in their homes as safely as possible.

Following the roll-out in October 2017, 89 per cent of service users have reported an improvement in their physical and mental health under the new scheme. A reduction of just one fall for every 17 residents saves the local health and care economy £21,000 per year.

With Lightbulb now rolled out across Leicestershire, more service users will be able to take advantage of the benefits, including a much reduced waiting time for housing adaptations, fewer people involved in each case and a vast reduction in delivery cost.

Analysis on 357 patients experiencing improved care and an 84 percent reduction in NHS costs, worth up to £550,000 in savings over a one-year period.

Cllr. Brecon
Cllr. Lee Brecon: Blaby proud to host Lightbulb project

Back in September, Lightbulb was named ‘Best Collaborative Working Initiative’ by the Association for Public Service Excellence and Commended at the Home Improvement Agency Awards.

Councillor Lee Breckon, Blaby District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “This is Lightbulb’s third award in under six months, and continues to prove how this partnership is recognised nationally for the positive difference it is making.

“We are so proud to host Lightbulb and continue the project’s innovative work in changing the way local people access housing adaptations.”

Cllr. Pam Posnett
Cllr. Pam Posnett

Councillor Pam Posnett, Leicestershire County Council Cabinet Member for Health, said: “the outcomes already achieved through the Lightbulb programme, speak for themselves and have proven by working collaboratively, we can make a significant difference to people’s lives”.

The awards ceremony took place at London’s Grosvenor House venue on 21 March 2018.

[Source and Lead Photo: Blaby District Council Communications]

Trial closure of Dog Waste Bins abandoned as tip issues are resolved

Enderby Parish Councillors have learned that the operational issues with the District’s Dedicated Dog Waste Bins (DDWB’s) has been resolved.

The proposed trial closure of designated dog bins will not now be necessary.

Leicestershire County Council have now provided a more appropriate facility for Blaby District Council to dispose of both mixed litter and waste from designated dog bins that avoids the problematic issues of going to a landfill site close to Lutterworth.

Dog
Picture: Louise Baldock ( http://louisebaldock.blogspot.co.uk)

As the EYE reported on 14th March (Designated dog-waste bins may ‘disappear’ after local trial) the small transit van size tippers used by the District Council’s cleansing teams were regularly getting stuck on the landfill site, being overloaded due to mud being stuck to the underside of the vehicles, and expensive repairs were being incurred correcting damage caused on the site.

Expensive repairs were becoming alarmingly regular in order to correct damage caused on the site.

The change of stance by the County Council has enabled the District Council’s cleansing teams to continue to collect waste in the same way from street bins without the need to mix waste or close any designated dog waste bins. This will come as welcome news to many dog walkers in Enderby and Narborough.

Volunteers step forward to secure the future of Enderby Library

Enderby Library Needs YouAs an austerity measure, Enderby’s Library was threatened with closure by the Leicestershire County Council but Enderby Parish Council and a host of volunteers have stepped forward to keep Enderby’s Library open.

The Parish Council website reports that the Parish Council registered its interest in keeping the library open and this was accepted by the County Council.

After a great deal of discussion with the County Council and much negotiation and training of Council staff and volunteers, Enderby Parish Council, at its meeting on 12th August 2015, set up the Enderby Library Management Committee.

Five council members were appointed to serve on it, plus the chairman and vice-chairman, in an ex-offico capacity and volunteers were invited to join the Committee.

Of the members of the public who were present, five joined immediately, a sixth was volunteered by her husband and two others who had expressed a desire to serve on a Management Committee will be contacted with the details of what has happened thus far.

The Management Committee will meet at Enderby Civic Centre, at 6.30pm on Thursday, 27th August to consider a draft business plan.

Any alterations to the draft plan will be taken to the next meeting of the Committee on 3rd September, just ahead of the deadline for the submission of the business plan to County Hall which is Friday, 4th September, 2015.

The business plan is an intricate document but training in drawing one up was given by the County Council and the Council’s Clerk has spent many hours – and probably sleepless nights – working on it.

The plan, it is hoped, will include the library being open for 24 hours per week, more than it is at present.

Committee meetings will be open to members of the public and will be advertised in the same manner as any other Council and/or committee meetings; on parish notice-boards and on the Council’s website. The Parish Council’s Facebook page and Twitter feed will also carry news of what is happening.

View Enderby Parish Council’s website

Fosse Park Jobs and Skills Fair returns for 2015

Fosse Park Jobs Fair
Visitors attending last year’s Jobs Fair at Fosse Park

Over 400 jobseekers turned out to last year’s event, so the Jobs and Skills Fair is returning to Fosse Park on Wednesday 2nd September.

The free event will run on the mezzanine floor above the Food Court in Fosse Park from 11am until 3pm and sets to bring together local employers, job-seekers and support services all under one roof to help local unemployed people into work or training.

Councillor Tony Greenwood, portfolio holder for Planning, Economic Development and Housing Strategy at Blaby District Council, said:

 

Cllr Tony Greenwood MBE
Cllr Tony Greenwood MBE

“Local businesses are encouraged to reserve a place at the event to reap the benefits of extensive event marketing and promotion, a prime location with a high footfall and local networking opportunities.

Jobs Fairs are an excellent opportunity to meet your prospective employees in person as well as being a low-cost solution to your recruitment problems.”

Blaby District Council, working in partnership with Leicestershire County Council and Job Centre Plus are organising the event hosted by Fosse Park.

Anyone who has job vacancies to fill or a training service to provide, can contact A.K Khan, Economic Development Officer at Blaby District Council on 0116 272 7765 or email economicdevelopment@blaby.gov.uk to reserve a free space.

Places are limited so book early to confirm a place!