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HOLED UP

12-06-2009

Yesterday's story about Glyn Berrington's unsuccessful efforts to rouse Dudley Council's chief executive about the town's multifarious potholes seems to have had the desired effect. He got an email by return - although the holes haven't disappeared yet.

Here's the history of the story and Glyn's most recent letter:

I asked politely in my email of 26 May for the Chief Executive to respond to me on the subject of pot-holes, and what I consider the Council's poor performance in dealing with them.

He has not had the courtesy to do so. Since I'm paying his salary, I consider that downright rude and THOROUGHLY UNACCEPTABLE - at a time when "public servants" are under close scrutiny, I find this disgraceful.

I continue to report new pot-holes on a regular basis, the problem is getting worse not better, and although the staff of Dudley Council Plus do now have the courtesy at least to respond individually to my emails, and yellow-paint is appearing round them more promptly, the key performance test, ie "are they being promptly repaired?" - is still not being met.

As an example, I would like to invite the Chief Executive to accompany me on a drive along any or all of Tennyson Street and Milton Street Pensnett and The Portway Kingswinford.

I am expecting a response to this by return.

Glyn Berrington

After week's of badgering by Glyn, our coverage yesterday seems to have had the desired effect. This was sent yesterday:

Dear Mr Berrington,

My Secretary has drawn my attention to an email which you sent to her regarding pot holes in the Kingswinford area. I am sorry that I have not personally responded to you before about the matters you have raised however, the proper officer to deal with these matters is the Director of Urban Environment.

Following copies of your earlier email to Dudley Council Plus, my office forwarded these matters to him for his attention. I am sure that the appropriate and necessary action will be taken to deal with the problems you have outlined.

John Polychronakis
Chief Executive

Glyn wasn't impressed though:

Mr Polychronakis

Thank you; but clearly matters ARE NOT being dealt with satisfactorily, or else I wouldn't have to keep reporting and re-reporting pot-holes (including many which have to be repaired time and again because the initial repair isn't effective)

The fact that in my most recent email I identified three roads (Tennyson Street, Milton Street and The Portway) which are in an appalling state AND HAVE BEEN FOR (at least) SIX MONTHS indicates that potholes aren't being repaired promptly or adequately.

Moreover, I see ridiculous situations where one pothole is repaired but others nearby are not - examples this week are:

High Oak Pensnett two holes repaired but others nearby ignored;
Denleigh Road Kingswinford one hole repaired, others nearby ignored;
The Knoll Kingswinford one hole repaired, others nearby ignored

This smacks of inefficiency - if the men effecting the repairs are going to turn up at a location with lorry, tarmac and tools, surely it makes sense to repair all potholes in that vicinity before moving off elsewhere?

I would welcome the comments of your experts on these specific aspects - I'm sure you will understand that, as a Council Tax-payer, I feel I have the right to question how wisely, or not, my money is being spent.

Glyn Berrington

The Chief Executive replied again. Typical, you wait ages for a reply, then two come together:

Dear Mr Berrington,

Thank you for your comments which I note, these of course will be passed to the Director of Urban Environment for his immediate attention. I will ask him to respond to you directly.

Yours sincerely,

John Polychronakis
Chief Executive

As this was cc'd to John Millar, the Urban Environment Director, Glyn took the opportunity to send him an email and give him a nudge too...

Hello Mr Millar, I look forward to your comments.

Please add to the list of road repairs which are necessary the mini-roundabout at Tennyson St/Byron St Pensnett; a large pothole here was repaired in recent months but is again now becoming cavernous.

Buses travel along this route at 10-minute intervals during the daytime, and it seems the present road surface simply can't cope with them, hence the other problems in Tennyson St and Milton St (and, indeed, The Portway Kingswinford which is also a bus route)

Thanks

Glyn Berrington

We'll keep you posted on developments.

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