Highways Department transfer to Harlow is "a disaster"

April 28, 2011 6:11 PM

weald closeIn an extremely embarrasing letter to councillors, Tory Leader of the Council Cllr Louise McKinlay has been forced to admit that transferring Brentwood's highways function to Harlow has not worked. The letter admits a number of key failings, including:

  • key failings with access to customer services
  • a lack of response
  • a significant backlog of unresolved enquiries
  • emailing the relevant department has not worked
  • staff restructures have had an impact on the service
  • incidents, potholes etc were not being entered on to the system
  • no enquiry numbers were given to members
  • additional staff will now need to be employed to catch up

Karen ChilversCllr Karen Chilvers, Brentwood West, said:

"When Brentwood council had it's own staff this did not happen. Officers knew the streets well and were able to react due to their own extensive knowledge and experience. A system did not have to be relied on because they knew what needed to happen, they just got in done.

"There are some severe problems across the ward that have not been dealt with, in my ward the most serious, apart from the lengthy list of potholes, is the issue that has been going on since January in Weald Close/Honeypot Lane. I have been constantly chasing this issue and we are still no nearer fixing it even though I was promised that it would be fixed by the end of March."

Cllr David Kendall added:

"This has very serious ramifiications for services for our residents. Not only has this been an unparallled disaster, we now learn that there will be a link up with Basildon for our waste services. This could well be another disastarous situation for our residents that could lead to fortnightly refuse collectins - despite what the Tories promise now if they sell another service down the river we will have little control over what happens."