Wednesday 10 April 2024

How Barnet Council does road repairs under Barnet Labour

On the 5th March 2024, I took the following pictures of a manhole at the junction of Bunns Lane and Woodcroft Avenue. This was a highly dangerous traffic hazard and posed a clear and present danger to road users, especially cyclists and motorbike riders. Not only that but the clanky manhole cover must have been highly disturbing for residents of both Woodcroft Avenue and the flats on Bunns Lane. It is not the only, or worst road hazard in Mill Hill, but it is one I walk past every day, so I am more than familiar with it. 

I took a second picture of it, to show the location clearly.  It is important to have such references, so that there can be no dispute. The manhole has say there for weeks since, and it seemed to me that the Council had no interest in fixing it. Many of my studio customers and other locals have mentioned it to me and all I've been able to say to them is that it has been reported. 

Imagine my joy when I saw a team of contractors setting up roadworks to fix it as I made my way to work.

When I returned home for lunch at noon, this was what greeted me. Can you believe it? I couldn't. Presumably Barnet Council have paid for this, which means that a bunch of contractors have made a tidy profit at my expense (and yours if you pay Barnet Council Tax). I took another picture, just to show the location. 

I can honestly say that this is the worst repair I've ever seen. Not only has it not really fixed the problem, it now means that if the Water company need access to the manhole, it is covered. You simply couldn't make this up.
In 2022, when I stood for council, one of the things I advocated was that the council inspect contractors work and don't pay when it is substandard. I'd appoint a chief civil engineer, who knows the industry and has a background working for contractors, so they know all the scams and fiddles.  It is the only way to get proper repairs done. Barnet Labour promised a new broom when they swept the Tories out. 

Sadly the truth is that this is how road hazards are getting repaired these days. As someone who manages a small industrial estate, I know how you get proper work done. The answer is that you keep an eye on your contractors. Labour will have run Barnet Council for two years next month. They took over a council in chaos from the Tories, who destroyed all of the mechanisms for running the authority properly. They have another two years to persuade us that they are fit to run the Borough. They have had a lot of slack from bloggers like me, as I knew the issues. The truth is that if they don't they will be booted out. I'm putting them on notice that the long honeymoon is over, if they don't start getting their act together. 


Anonymous said...

It is going to take decades to rebuild Barnet’s infrastructure after all those years of Tory easy Barnet. Many contracts from then will still be in place, you should not blame Labour for Tory incompetence.

Rog T said...

There would be nothing more dishonest for me than to have criticised the management of Barnet Council under the Tories for 15 years and then give Labour a free pass when they do the same. It is clear what is needed to sort this out.