Question from: County Councillor Gareth Ratcliffe Subject: Clean roads and pavements
Over the last couple of months there has been an increase in grass and weeds growing out of pavements and curbs in Hay, as across the whole county. This is not just contributing in an eyesore but also blocked drain covers in rain causing flooding and road danger issues in heavy rain. The council (PCC) took the decision to downgrade the road sweeper and charge community councils extra if they want the service above a below average clean. Hay like other communities are one of the many jewels in the crown and if we had a festival of RWS for example, PCC would be out in force ensuring streets were clean. Our towns even more now need support to show case the special places they are to ensure visitors and residents can take pride in our towns.
Will the Portfolio Holder review the use of road sweepers in our communities to start to bring back a standard of clean roads and pavements that residents rightly expect?
Response by the Portfolio Holder:
You will be aware that this has been an unprecedented year due to the Covid19 pandemic and during the lockdown period you will also know that the authority took severe measures to support its critical frontline services and thus limited highway services to emergency works for that period. I am sure you will join me in taking this opportunity to thank those staff who were redeployed from the Highways Department to support our Waste & Recycling teams through these difficult times and who have continued to maintain the safety of our road network during the easing of lockdown, with the limited resource available (staff off shielding or furloughed or leave).
Implementing such severe measures during lockdown has meant that we were unable to carry out our normal preventative weed spraying activities in our town centres during May. This combined with the heavy rainfall and humid conditions experienced this summer which has compounded matters, has accelerated weed growth, along with gullies filling with roadside detritus.
As you are aware we have shown much support to our local businesses and town centres throughout these exceptional times through #supportlocalpowys and we will continue to do our utmost with the limited resource we have available, currently 3no. sweepers countywide, to manage the secondary effects emanating from the pandemic and maintenance back log during the rest of the year.