The failings of the Vale of Glamorgan Council’s so-called “Visible Services Directorate” have been highlighted this month in an internal report by one of the council’s own “scrutiny committees” [committees which review the performance of various council departments].
In three areas which affect Penarth in particular – Pavements, Road Maintenance and the council’s “Tree Strategy“- the results are not good.
The council is bracing itself for more claims in 2016/17 by pedestrians tripping and falling on Vale pavements, and by drivers and cyclists having their vehicles damaged by potholes and the bad state of the council’s roads.
Meanwhile – it’s now revealed – there a further delays in the development of a council “Tree Management Strategy” – which perhaps accounts for the rising concern amongst local residents, and of Penarth Civic Society, about the council’s policy – or lack of it – on the preservation of the essential tree-lined character of Penarth’s distinctive streets.
PAVEMENTS : – In 2016/17 claims for trips and falls by pedestrians on Vale of Glamorgan Pavements are expected to run at almost three times the number of claims in 2014/15 . The council expects to receive 23 such claims in the current year .
ROADS :- The committee reports a rising number of “successful third party claims against the council for vehicle damage” . The committee says the total cost of successful
third party claims against the Council for vehicle damage has “missed target” [ i.e. cost more than the council expected] during 2015-16 “due to the general conditions of carriageways deteriorating”.
Overall 9.91% of all roads in the Vale of Glamorgan are reported [by the council itself ] to be in “overall poor condition”. (5.62% of “A”classified roads are in poor condition . Over 13% of ‘C’ Roads are in poor condition) . Despite this the council asserts that “work to reduce the problems encountered by the public in relation to pot holes has been completed” – although this claim is not borne out by a check of several long-standing potholes in Penarth.
TREES : – The scrutiny committee reports that the Vale Council’s “Tree Strategy” was to have been completed by the end of March 2016 – but it’s still a long way from being finished . The committee says “Different tree management systems are currently under review; consequently implementation of a Tree Management Strategy to improve the
management of the Council’s tree stock has been delayed” and is only “40% complete”
The council says “Demonstration of systems currently being progressed” – but does not explain what this actually means .