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Teams to tackle highway problems in Lichfield and Burntwood

Craig Proudman, County Councillor Mike Maryon and Mart Issah

Craig Proudman, County Councillor Mike Maryon and Mart Issah

Verges at the side of roads in Lichfield and Burntwood are set to be better maintained thanks to the formation of a new team at Staffordshire Highways.

The Neighbourhood Highway Teams will tackle small-scale highway problems in closer liaison with local town and parish councils and county councillors.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways Mike Maryon said the initiative is one of three promises made by the new administration which have been delivered within 100 days of coming to power.

Announcements on an extra £30m of funding and the introduction of action to cut speeds to 20mph at the school gate have already been made.

And now, all 179 parishes and 41 urban wards will get a guaranteed three visits from their Neighbourhood Highway Team.

There will be 10 Neighbourhood Highway Teams across Staffordshire, and the length of visits will depend on the size of the parish or area, but the work carried out will have been organised in advance following consultation with relevant parties.

Cllr Malyon said:

“One thing that is clear from the doorstep is that people wanted us to tackle some of the small-scale street level cosmetic issues, which all too often get left behind in the drive to meet the bigger strategic infrastructure challenges such as major road repairs.

“We may be pumping an extra £30m into the long term investment in Staffordshire highway network, but we won’t forget those issues that really matter at the parish pump, such as keeping the areas tidy and pleasing.”

Neighbourhood Highway Teams will deal with an extended list of smaller non safety related problems that have often crept below the radar in the past, including:

  • Weeds and grass trimming
  • Environmental improvement schemes
  • Verges and fencing
  • Painting
  • Ditching
  • Cleaning
  • Dropped crossings to improve access for all.

The focus on the relationship with town and parish councils and the local community is a central factor in the new-look service according Councillor Maryon.

He explained:

“The town and parish councils and ward representatives know what the residents are grumbling about. They act as our eyes and ears – so it pays dividends to get close to them.

“We are setting up a priority response service for town and parish councillors as part of the Staffordshire Highways Hotline. Our new Community Liaison team will work directly with them to draw up a programme that meets their needs. This new approach is all about involving people directly in planning the service in their street. It’s clear that’s what people want.”

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