The Liberal Democrat group on Gloucestershire County Council have today received cross-party support for a call to monitor more closely the county’s highways contract with Amey. The group also received backing to continue imposing financial penalties if performance targets are not consistently achieved in the upcoming 2015/2016 financial year.
The long awaited debate coinciding with World Pothole Day regarding the condition of Gloucestershire roads was finally discussed with contributions made from elected members across all political parties.
Shadow Cabinet Member for Highways and Flood, Cllr. Paul Hodgkinson (LD: Bourton-on-the-water and Northleach) who led the call said that:
“This debate has been a long time coming, but I’m pleased that elected representatives have finally had a chance to voice in public their concerns and frustrations regarding the county’s highways contract with Amey.
“The very fact that my request for closer monitoring of the contract and for financial penalties to be imposed if they don’t keep up with high performance has received such support from all sides of the chamber tells me that there are still many problems that need addressing.
“I’m particularly pleased that the Cabinet Member for Highways has finally taken off his ‘rose-tinted spectacles’ to see that something needs to be done. It is time that Amey pulled up their socks and get on with the job that Gloucestershire’s residents, businesses and visitors all deserve.
Cllr. Bernard Fisher (LD: St Paul’s and Swindon) who supported Cllr. Hodgkinson’s motion said that:
“People can see for themselves there is a problem with our highways. Pavements are in an appalling condition. It seems that even the simplest little jobs just aren’t being done.”
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr. Jeremy Hilton also said that:
“Listening to the frustrations of my colleagues in the chamber today will hopefully act as a real wake up call to Amey.
“As our county contractors they have a job to do and we need them to step up to the mark or face penalties if they fail to deliver in repairing Gloucestershire’s footpaths and roads to the highest possible standard.
“I’m pleased that in some areas things are going well, but this is clearly not the case in other areas. If we continue to see poor performance then it is only right for money to be withheld from Amey. I am pleased that there will be continual monitoring of this contract and I will personally along with my colleague Cllr. Hodgkinson will be asking for regular updates.”