Rain

Rain

max temp: 3°C

min temp: 3°C

Search

Ipswich: War of words breaks out over kerb repairs on estate roads

PUBLISHED: 10:01 29 January 2014 | UPDATED: 10:01 29 January 2014

Mud on the kerb at Inverness Road.

Mud on the kerb at Inverness Road.

Archant

Labour councillors have warned that the privatisation of Suffolk’s road maintenance work has meant it is more difficult to get small schemes undertaken.

They are especially concerned that the cost of minor repairs means that kerbs and pavements cannot be properly maintained on housing estates in Ipswich.

However politicians at the Conservative-controlled county council insist problems with getting work carried out has nothing to do with the decision to transfer the road maintenance work to private company Kier MG in October last year.

County councillors each have a “locality budget” of £12,000 to spend on any projects in their division and a further £8,000 to spend on highways improvements in their division.

Labour transport spokeswoman Sandra Gage said that since the transfer it was difficult to get any work done, because much of the budget would be swallowed up in designing any improvement. Previously officers would have prepared a plan and the money would have been spent on implementing it.

She said: “If it costs £2,500 to get a proposal designed, which is the going rate, it leaves very little to actually make any improvements – they can say the transfer has been successful, but that’s not our experience on the streets of Ipswich.”

She had hoped to spend her £8,000 on improving kerbs in her Rushmere division in Ipswich, especially in Inverness Road where neighbours have been complaining about their condition.

However Suffolk transport spokesman Graham Newman said the change was nothing to do with 
the transfer of the highways contract.

He said: “This is something that was happening sometime before the service was transferred. We were finding that councillors were asking our engineers to draw up plans – which they were doing – and this was taking them away from their other important business.

“We had to put a cost on that – and that is the situation that continues now that the contract has been transferred.”

Mr Newman said it was possible to add part of the general locality budget to the highways budget if there were road programmes costing more than £8,000 that councillors wanted to be developed.

“Or they could link up with neighbouring councillors to pool their locality budgets,” he added.

A brave Kesgrave teenager who lost a leg to cancer hit headlines for passing her driving test a year early but she may now face losing that independence – and her beloved car.

Jeremy Hunt has come under fire for a post he put on social media following a private visit to Ipswich Hospital.

The body of a man found near Leavenheath this afternoon is believed to be that of missing Richard Hull, police have confirmed.

A short stroll from the Cornhill can be packed with history, change and stories.

The man who spearheaded efforts to build a northern by-pass across Ipswich 25 years ago has backed new plans to build the road that are now emerging.

A man arrested in connection with an incident that saw armed police descend on Ipswich town centre last night will face no further action.

A charity chief executive has spoken of ambitions to support the overburdened NHS in the future by extending its offer for young people.

Test your knowledge on our county by taking part in our quiz.

Bosses at the Eastern Enterprise Hub and University of Suffolk hope gaming and technology students will be inspired to pursue their games ideas, after it emerged the gaming industry is one of the fastest growing locally.

A Shotley father with five drink-driving convictions has been jailed for 36 weeks after taking his mother’s car without consent and crashing it into a hedge.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24