|Drainage update 15 - 24.10.2013|
For more than 3 years we have been trying to get something done about
our “Wet Spot” 2 near the speed bump on Fifield Road near Longlea
Nursing Home. The inertia has been staggering !
A year ago at our AGM Mr Hanif Baksh, Streetcare's flood risk engineer at the time, told us that an application had finally been made for capital funding for necessary ditching work. In January this year we learned that the application had been successful, but it's been impossible to get any indication of when this work might be carried out.
Councillor Coppinger has been very helpful by regularly requesting updates from Streetcare. He pointed out that the Highways and Engineering Newsletter included a scheduled item ... "Fifield Road – drainage improvements – Wednesday 17th to Friday 19th April".
When the appointed time came and went I tried to discover from Streetcare what had gone wrong and was told that work needed to be "prioritised". I tried to get this clarified by asking if that meant that the approved funding had been "re-directed" and applied elsewhere. "Absolutely not" I was told, "the funding is approved for this particular project and cannot be redirected elsewhere."
But still no action or indication of an appointed date.
Then later in the year some re-surfacing work to repair water damage at the speed bump looked as if it had also included the drainage work. We came close to cheering ! But it transpired that all they had done was scrape some silt out onto the verge. This seemed very meagre and inadequate and certainly not worthy of "capital funding". When I followed up I was assured that this was only a temporary measure and not the final job. But still no scheduled date for the work.
As we enter Autumn again I have once more tried to obtain information but all I can get is "before the end of the year". This could make a fair basis for a script for "Carry on Ditching" !
The other item we have been struggling with this year is our “Wet Spot” 4 in Coningsby Lane. I have again failed to progress this project because of an assertion that there was never a ditch following the route that needs to be re-established. Despite the fact that I have provided photographic evidence of the existence of this ditch dating from the mid 1980s Streetcare are extremely nervous of committing themselves in case this continues to be challenged by a local resident.
I was told in the Spring that a new drainage consultant was to be appointed to continue on from the work of Mr Baksh who no longer works for Streetcare. I have been promised that this matter will be included in his Wet Spots in our villages - progress in 2013 brief, along with the other "wet spots" in our report. I've been promised contact details but am told that no appointment has been made yet and it is uncertain when this might happen.
We have been able to carry out some minor works in Coningsby Lane thanks to the generosity of Paul and Simon Rinder of Stroud Farm. They kindly carried out some ditching work for us opposite the cottages at the eastern end of the Lane. It remains to be seen if this will improve the situation. We were able to persuade Highways to allow us to repair the ruined verge at the same time to make it possible for residents of the cottages to park their vehicles sensibly once more. Most residents were very grateful for this.