Wednesday sees a meeting of Barnet Council. I have spotted a disturbing trend in the reports pack. It seems they've decided that by not flagging the status of failing projects as red, they can pretend they are doing a good job. If you look at the report below and go to page 45, you will see that this action was recommended by the cabinet.
The Task and Finish Group recommend that:
i) a full survey be undertaken of the boroughs footways to enable footways schemes to be prioritised effectively; and
ii) footways maintenance works should be carried out, as far as possible, to consistent standard across the network, using the same materials wherever possible.
This action was agreed by the Barnet Council Cabinet. What happened next?
Well this is the current status.
Cabinet response to recommendation:
“That the recommendations of this Task and Finish
Group were in general very helpful and constructive, and tribute be given to the Group for
their work. Cabinet agreed with the Group that there is a more efficient way of running the
road resurfacing programme and that the asset management system being proposed is the
way forward. The additional recommendations in c) i) and ii) of the Group’s report must be
subject to resources being available.”
Update December 2010:
The survey has been commissioned and is due to be completed by the end of the calendar
year. It is considered appropriate to produce a proposed schedule of materials to be used
and considered to be the standard across the network. The Cabinet Member will be
consulted to gain agreement of this approach.
Update March 2011:
A full survey of the borough’s footways has been completed and used as a basis to prepare the planned highways maintenance programme for 2011/12. Planned Footway maintenance is carried out using standard materials across the network. The Cabinet Member has requested that the Highways department concentrate on carriageways rather than footways and, consequently, the current and future footway maintenance budgets are expected to be low.
Update November 2011:
A full condition survey of all the Borough Footways was carried out this financial year (2010/11)
No Borough funded footway maintenance work was carried out this financial year. However, footway maintenance work was carried out funded by LIP funding.
This report is flagged as AMBER. I think this is disgusting. How many elderly people will trip and fall as a result of the COMPLETE LACK OF FOOTWAY MAINTENANCE. The costs of this could be enormous, because it is clear that Barnet Council is failing to deliver a safe environment and could be in line for huge writs for negligence. How they can justify COMPLETELY ABANDONING footway maintenance is beyond me. We all know roads supremo Councillor Brian Coleman said his priority was "Roads, Roads, Roads" but did anyone expect that this meant a complete abandonment of footway maintenance.
The links to the Barnet Website are here -
This is a complete scandal. I hope the local papers pick this up. If you have suffered an injury on a badly maintained Barnet pavement, you should point this out to your solicitor ASAP.
Here is a readable version. Page down using the arrow keys. There is plenty of other scandalous stuff in here as well, but this takes the biscuit because it puts us all at risk.