Essex County Council reject call for review into pothole contract

ALMOST £5 million extra funding has been made available for pothole and highways repairs but Essex County Council has rejected calls for an independent review into its contract with the company responsible for repairing the county’s roads.

Almost £5 million of extra funding for pothole repairs and highways improvements was announced at the full council meeting today, (May 15) during which opposition councillors had been calling for an independent review of the Ringway Jacobs contract.

Instead the cabinet member for highways Kevin Bentley will be leading a review into the contact, which started in 2012 and is due to finish in 2022, with the option of a five-year extension.

Lib Dem councillor David Kendall who represents Brentwood said: “There is an urgent need for a member review on the Ringway Jacobs contract.”

He added: “Members should be working with officers on this review and it should be an independent review of the Ringway Jacobs contract.”

An amendment to an opposition led motion calling for a review passed by the Tory-led council was criticised by Cllr Kendall for not even mentioning Ringway Jacobs.

Cllr Bentley, who announced he would be leading the review of the Ringway Jacobs contract along with his deputies, said: “I will make myself and my deputies available to all scrutiny panels who want to talk to us and I will come back to answer questions.”

The amount spent repairing individual potholes has dropped by almost £15 million in three years.

While the repair of potholes is primarily a revenue activity – the funding of which comes from a combination of central government grants, council tax receipts and business rates – the total spent on roads maintenance from this cash stream has dropped from £19.613m in 2014/2015 to £5.014m in 2016/2017.

Capital funding for road maintenance – which is financed from a range of sources including borrowing and capital receipts as well as central government grants – has increased from £42.182m in 2014/2015 to £60.419m in 2016/2017.

Essex Highways say that roads maintenance funding pays for a rolling programme of works that aims to improve the condition of the road and stop potholes forming in the first place.

However motorists are being warned the drop in revenue funding may lead to an increase in problems across the county’s road network.

Leader of ECC David Finch said: “We have delivered £350m of savings in the last four years by driving out inefficiency, innovating, generating income and reducing costs. This year we will deliver an additional £59m of savings.

“Thanks to this financial prudence I am pleased to announce additional funding for our highways that have deteriorated more rapidly due to the bad weather earlier this year.

“There will be an extra £2.5m for pothole repairs, £1.2m for local highways panels, £1m for highways works that can be devolved to as local a level as possible, and £200,000 to keep Essex tidy by improving the appearance of highways and verges.”

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4 Responses to "Essex County Council reject call for review into pothole contract"

  1. D.p.l   May 16, 2018 at 9:43 pm

    If the Conservative administrating party of Essex county council do not put the extra council tax increases which they announced back in April towards improving the roads and pavements here in Harlow and in Essex in general, what message does this give out to the residents of Harlow and Essex about the Conservatives administration party of Essex county council.
    I will leave that to the residents of Harlow and Essex to judge for themselves.
    In my book they are not better than the Harlow council Labour administrating party.
    They are both in it for themselves and not the number one priority,which is the People.

  2. MickyB77   May 17, 2018 at 10:07 am

    The shower in the Town Hall need to start assessing the routes taken by the HGV traffic going in and out of Harlow.

    Most of the damages are inflicted by vehicles of up to 44 tonnes, that have huge wheels that will wreck any road.
    Give them a specific route away from local areas, shouldn’t be too hard to sort it out.
    Watching these leviathans trying to bully their way through Churchgate Street, and sometimes reversing into side streets, and even the school, when realising
    that they’re going the wrong way.

  3. jarrett   May 17, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Micky,
    I have been saying this for ages,Southern Way,Third Ave,Fourth Ave,First Ave should all have 7.5t weight limits imposed and enforced and anything over that should use the A414/Elizabeth Way for access to Templefields and the Pinnacles but the councillors are scared of putting off potential users of the industrial areas,this all goes back to the route of the old North Orbital rd which should have gone to the North West of Harlow but ended up becoming the m25 at its present location.
    I know i would not like to live in Northbrooks with the 24hr hgv’s going down Third Ave,will anything be done,i doubt it very much hence one of many reasons i intend to leave this town which has been home to me for over sixty years,

  4. UKMaverick785   May 25, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    The biggest issue is their stupid policy of not filling potholes till they reach a certain depth. The sooner they are filled the less material needed and the cheaper the repair! This is not just a main road issue for Tory Essex CC though, the vast amount of unadopted highway is the responsibility of Labour’s Harlow DC, who don’t seem to be much cop either!

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