Major changes will stop roads ‘going to pot’

A motorist stops to examine a pot-hole which her car ran into in Horncastle .
A motorist stops to examine a pot-hole which her car ran into in Horncastle .

A major re-structuring of Lincolnshire County Council’s Highways department will make it easier to track complaints - including requests for pot-hole repairs.

That’s the claim made by Horncastle’s county councillor Bill Aron, who also says the town will have a dedicated officer to deal with highways issues.

Speaking at last Tuesday’s annual town meeting, Coun Aron said ‘budget restraints’ had made it difficult for all departments at the county council as the authority faces the on-going challenge of saving money while maintaining services.

He explained the ‘major restructuring’ of Highways had been completed with what he termed a ‘few modifications’ after requests by councillors.

He said the changes would be rolled out across the county and would feature a Highways’ officer staging an ‘annual walkabout’ with local councillors to discuss any issues. Highways will also hold quarterly meetings with town and parish councils.

Coun Aron added any correspondence about issues in specific communities would be sent to the relevant county councillor while town and parish councils will be handed leaflets with up-to-date contact details for all officers.

Questioned by town councillor Matthew Wilkinson, Coun Aron accepted there had been problems with the previous system which had led to claims complaints were not always followed up.

Coun Aron pledged to forward any complaints he received but admitted it was ‘beyond my remit’ to ensure every pot-hole in the town was repaired.

Coun Aron said pressure from backbenchers at County Hall had led to the reorganisation and he assured town councillors the new system would be a lot better.

He added: “All the changes have been made to protect the asset, make savings and improve efficiency.”

Coun Aron faced questions about on-going issues in several areas, including West Street, while town council chairman Brian Burbidge said he was ‘sceptical’ the changes would work but added ‘anything would be an improvement’.

The last few months have been taken up with the Lincolnshire County Council

elections. I must again thank all those who voted for me. Increased majority.

This will be my fourth term in office. I am getting used to the new Boundary

changes -Now taking in the Keals but unfortunately with the loss of several

villages to our North.

I have been appointed to Heritage & Culture as Support Councillor to the

Portfolio Holder and this now includes Fire & Rescue. Also includes

Registration and Libraries.

Turning to Highways

During the past twelve months the County Council has undergone further

budget restraints – which has meant - it’s not been easy. Highways has also

undergone a major restructuring. This has now be completed and a few

modifications have just taken place - this includes:-

* Town / Parish Council Quarterly meetings with Highways at cluster meeting

* Annual Parish walk-abouts offer with Highways

* Correspondence is going to be copied into the local County Councillor

* A leaflet with all the contact details will be available to Parish Councils.

All the changes have been to protect the Asset, make savings and improve

efficiency. I will be monitoring the situation

If you have any questions on Highways or other aspects of the County Council

– I will be pleased to take