Chris slams Eurovia over Burnham Road fiasco

Chris White (County Councillor for Clarence and St Peter’s Wards) has slammed Eurovia over the repeated failures to resurface Burnham Road or communicate with residents and councillors

Chris said: ‘I have been contacted by numerous residents who have now been told twice that the road was due to be resurfaced and that they should move their cars. On the first occasion many residents did only to find that the work had been postponed for no reason.

‘On Saturday I visited the road and watched while Eurovia, the HCC highways contractor which also owns the main contractor Ringway, did botched preparation repairs to some but not all of the numerous potholes.’

Yesterday Chris received an email from Mr Robert Thompson at Eurovia which apologised for the inconvenience to residents but admitted that Eurovia won’t now revisit until late October. The email pointedly refused to apologise for not engaging with councillors on the matter.

It also claimed that the reason why some of the potholes were not repaired was the problem with – parked cars.

Chris said: ‘Eurovia has attempted to pull the wool over the eyes of the county council, elected members and residents by claiming that their poor quality work was due to parked cars. In fact I took a photo while they were in the street clearly showing a giant pothole that they had not been touched and further holes in the middle of the road.

‘The message also made it clear that they were not prepared to keep local councillors informed or share the letters they are sending out to residents.’

Chris will now be referring the contract to the county council’s auditors and is asking for an analysis of payments to Eurovia across the county, as well as the management protocols for communicating with councillors and the public. He is also seeking clarification as to why the apparent competitor to Ringway is also its owner – thereby removing any real element of price competition.

‘This is a scandalous misuse of our money and I want answers to my questions without delay – as well as a proper and early repair job on this road. I am perfectly prepared to visit Mr Thompson in his cosy office in Peterborough to put across the concerns of local people and councillors.’

ENDS

Contact:

Chris White 01727 845300

Robert Thompson
Contracts Manager
Eurovia Specialist Treatments
North Street, Stilton,
Peterborough
Cambridgeshire
PE7 3RP

T: +44 (0)1733 246733

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Govia take over Thameslink franchise from 14 September

Here is a link to their website and their claims of an improved service: http://www.govia.info/gtr/

Chris bats for local residents over night works in Victoria Street

Chris White has taken up the cudgels on behalf of local residents in relation to the county council’s planned roadworks in Victoria Street, due take place at night in the week commencing 29 September.

Chris said: ‘I could barely believe my eyes when I saw the proposal – working from 8pm until 5am in a street which has numerous residential properties.

‘I have so far been reassured that there won’t be any jack hammering after midnight. I am sure the school age children will find that a great help.

‘Then excuse is that it is “heavily trafficked”. Yes: it does have traffic but nowhere near as much as London Road or Hatfield Road, for instance.

‘Residents will be forced to leave their homes unless the county council reschedules these works.’

Chris has vowed to keep pressing for a switch to daytime working outside of rush hour periods.

Bricket Road closure next week

FROM THE COUNTY COUNCIL

NOTICE is given that the Hertfordshire County Council intend to make an Order under Section 14[1] of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, to prohibit all traffic from using that length of Bricket Road, St Albansfrom its junction with B691 Victoria Street north eastwards for a distance of approximately 50 metres, except for access.

The purpose of the Order is to enable the replacement of existing water mains to take place.

The section of road will be closed for approximately 5 days during the period 1 September 2014 and 5 September 2014, when signs are in place. An alternative signed route will be provided for traffic whilst the road closure is in place.

Burnham Road – will they, won’t they?

Residents of Burnham Road, who have waited many years for the road to be resurfaced, are increasingly irritated by the misinformation – or complete lack of information – from the county council.

Having been told to move their cars last week, they were dismayed to find that the road wasn’t done when advertised. It’s advertised again today but no-one has been asked to move their car.

Chris has taken it up with the county council.

Keeping Hertfordshire’s vulnerable children safe

Mark Watkin, Opposition Spokesperson for Children’s Services  met yesterday with Jenny Coles, Director of Children’s Services and Sue Williams, Operations Director of Safeguarding to  establish whether anything like what happened in Rotherham could be happening in Hertfordshire.  In their judgement and also the judgement of the Hertfordshire Police the answer is no.

One of the key factors in Rotherham was  that the Council used a large number of privately run homes as they are a relatively cheap way of housing teenagers  and failed to supervise what was going on in them. HCC uses far more foster carers looking after single  young people so co-ordinated abuse on the Rotherham scale is much more difficult to set up.

Mark comments “While one can never say that organised sexual abuse of children in Hertfordshire could never happen, I can say that the Children’s Services and the Police work extremely closely  to prevent anything like this happening to our children. I will continue to press the service’s leaders to ensure that there is no complacency in Children’s Services and I will challenge the status quo when it is not up to scratch.”

Victory over cardboard collection changes

The Liberal Democrat group on St Albans District Council have welcomed news that the cardboard collection service is to be improved.

Cllr Chris White said: ‘We have long criticised the entirely avoidable near collapse of the cardboard collection regime that we brought in when we were running the District Council. Far too many people have been left with huge piles of cardboard in their garages or been forced to ship materials to the household waste recycling centre, when previously they were able to rely on the District Council to collect.

‘It does seem that the Conservatives have now bowed to public pressure and listened to our criticisms. It is especially welcome that cardboard collections are now to be made available to flat dwellers.’

Council set to challenge Secretary of State’s rail freight interchange planning decision in the High Court

 

St Albans City and District Council has lodged a claim in the High Court.  The claim challenges the Secretary of State’s* decision to grant planning permission for a rail freight terminal at Park Street, near St Albans.

The Council’s claim concerns the legality of the Secretary of State’s decision on 14 July 2014 to allow an appeal brought by Helioslough Limited.  Helioslough Limited’s appeal concerned the Council’s refusal of planning permission for a strategic rail freight interchange on the former Radlett aerodrome site.

The Council is challenging the decision on three points of law.  The first is concerned with the legality of the Secretary of State’s approach in taking his decision.

The second relates to the misapplication of wording in the National Planning Policy Framework, a document that sets out planning policy nationally.

The third ground for challenge relates to procedural irregularity and inconsistency on the rail freight interchange decision. This follows the Secretary of State’s recent refusal of planning permission for a waste incinerator plant, also on Green Belt land, at nearby New Barnfield, in Hatfield.

Secret plans exposed over waste sites

Secret plans to save over £1 million have finally been exposed by the Liberal Democrats on Hertfordshire County Council.  Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Stephen Giles-Medhurst, has now forced the county to make public that their plan to close two household waste sites and cut opening hours at others, including closing them for two days a week, will cut the budget not by the £750,000 reported to councillors back in early July but over £1m.

The Council had wanted this “saving” to be kept confidential despite having already awarded a contract to Amey Cespa.

Stephen said: “We always knew the supposed ‘consultation’ exercise and the planned closures were nothing to do with improving services for local residents.

“Finally we have the truth. This is a £1 million pound cut in services.

“The County Council consultation is a fraud. I wonder how many leading Tories knew that the saving was far more than was being let on and that both Elstree and Hoddesdon could be kept open and they could still save £750,000?

“This whole exercise stinks. They should be looking at each waste site to see what the needs of residents are. Why cut the opening hours at Waterdale in Watford by 44% when it is the most used site both with tonnage and visitors?

“Whilst savings could and need to be made, the Tory blanket cut across all opening hours, and the closure of two sites with no background as to usage and no local input, is just like the bus cuts, a ‘do not care’ approach.

 Chris backs AIDS charity

Thanks to funding from their local county councillor, a charity will be able to offer support and counselling for sufferers of HIV and AIDS.

County Councillor Chris White (St Albans Central Division) has allocated £1,500 from his locality budget to The Crescent for supporting and counselling people living with HIV and AIDS.

Cllr Chris White said: “I am always happy to continue supporting the excellent work that Crescent does in St Albans and the surrounding areas in supporting those with HIV and AIDS.”

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Chris White

Photo of Chris White
17 Cunningham Avenue
St Albans
Hertfordshire
AL1 1JJ
T: 01727 845300
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