Labour councillors have called for greater scrutiny and monitoring of street works offences caused by utility companies after learning that Conservative-run Barnet council has not prosecuted any companies for disruptive streetworks or damage to local roads since 2010, while Transport for London has initiated over 100 prosecutions in the same period.
In a member’s item to last week’s Environment Committee (29 Sep), Labour’s Cllr Alon Or-bach highlighted that:
• the state of the Borough’s roads and pavements is the second highest concern amongst Barnet residents according to the Council’s latest Residents’ Perception Survey, and
• repair of roads is one of the lowest rated Council services with only 27% of residents in the Survey rating it highly – 14% points lower than London (41%) and down 8% points from autumn 2015 (35%).
Labour councillors raised the issue of damage caused to Barnet’s roads by companies at a previous Environment Committee meeting and have now got agreement that a report will be circulated to the Committee on:
• enforcement action Barnet Council has taken against utility companies for poorly managed street works including damage to roads and pavements,
• how much money has been recouped in fines, and
• whether there are any cases where prosecution was recommended but not actually taken forward.
Cllr Alon Or-bach said: “Residents have noticed the state of our roads and pavements deteriorate in Barnet. Labour believe the council needs to drastically improve its duty to maintain our streets. Taking action when utility companies fail to correctly undertake street work is one area we believe Barnet can up its game.”