Saturday, 27 April 2013

Council Communication and Potholes

Over the course of the last few months I have knocked on nearly two thousand doors and many residents have told me about their concerns. I'll share one of those concerns with you. There is a road in Morecambe called Mattock Crescent which doesn't have many residents and I only met around half of them but almost all of them were concerned about the state of their road. I saw their point. It is probably the worst road that I have seen in Morecambe.

Two residents told me that they had been in touch with the council and had been told that the road would be resurfaced this year. Another told me that a council worker had come round with white paint a few months earlier and this identified areas that would be repaired. Another resident told me that the council had told them the road would be resurfaced and then it was cancelled and now it was down again for resurfacing this year.

I could go on with many more details of how residents told me about the responses from the council. I’ll just mention two more. One person told me they had complained to the council for three years. Another resident had threatened to withhold his council tax until the road was resurfaced. These two examples typify the message that I was getting. Almost everyone had been in touch with the council.

On the 19th February I asked the council about their plans for Mattock Crescent and on the 7th March I received the reply that the council did “not appear to have existing records, so we have logged them for you”. Incredible! My reply was measured: ‘I am very surprised that you have no existing records ...In brief, many residents have told me that they have been in touch with the council…’ and then I mentioned some of the stories that I heard.

The people who live on Mattock Crescent wanted my help because they were fed up with the way they had been treated and sometimes it is easier to argue a case if it you are not affected  personally However I received no reply so I wrote again on the 7th April asking for an update. I did get an answer on the 10th April telling me that my enquiry was still showing under investigation. So I didn’t get any answer and I am still waiting. I did put out a street leaflet for Mattock Crescent on the 12th April letting the residents know what was happening.

Today’s headline in the local newspaper, The Visitor is 'Potholes cause residents misery', and yes, Mattock Crescent is prominent in the report, and no, there is no reply about resurfacing. Incidentally, a mattock is a kind of axe used for digging. It sounds like they need more than a few mattocks.

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