Hertfordshire County Council Liberal Democrat Group have forced a debate on the unacceptable Highways service being delivered by HCC.
At the Full Council meeting to be held on Tuesday 26th November, there will be a discussion of the poor performance of the Highways Contractors, thanks to Liberal Democrats forcing it onto the order paper, and the Liberal Democrats will ask the rest of the Council to back their request for a review of what is going on, and if necessary sanctions to be taken against contractors.
Stephen Giles-Medhurst, Leader of the Liberal Democrats and the Opposition on HCC said, “The service being delivered to local taxpayers is not acceptable. Works are constantly being postponed, the fault reporting systems don’t work properly, and taxpayers are not getting value for money.
“The conservatives claim they are investing more money in Highways, but local people and County Councillors are seeing less and less work delivered by the contractors. This is not acceptable. This contract needs to be delivered properly or financial penalties put in place so taxpayers start getting value for money from their Council Tax, and decent roadways and lighting”
Lib Dem Motion in Full to HCC:
After one year this Council notes with considerable disappointment and concern that the new and revised highways term contract as well as the Call Centre are not functioning and working to the best effect for the residents of Hertfordshire and there are still serious issues that require resolving including the following:
(a) Poor performance of the contractors in meeting acceptable standards and timescales especially when dealing with faults reported, leading to some being closed down with no work done to fix them.
(b) Failure to deliver work to agreed standards in some cases.
(c) Failure adequately to adhere to agreed process to inform Councillors and residents of works,
d) Failure to deliver some Highways Locality Budget works to both timescale and acceptable quality of work.
(e)Failure of some highways staff to fully engage with members and to keep them informed of issues, problems and ways of addressing them
(f) Failure of customer/member enquiries to be dealt with in an acceptable manner – including the failure of the customer call centre to adequately relay information or to respond fully to residents’ queries in an acceptable way.
Therefore, in light of these and other issues of which officers are aware, this Council calls on the Executive Member to undertake a Full Review of the current arrangements with a view to bringing a report firstly to the Members Advisory Group on areas for improvement/changes and then to the Highways and Waste Panel, and the Council requests if need be that the appropriate non-performance clauses in the Highways Service Term Contracts should be invoked to ensure that the above issues are addressed within the next three months and that performance meets the aims and objectives of the Corporate Plan.