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City Roads On Route To Repair 

Pavements and minor roads in Coventry are poor quality, and new technology should be used to improve their maintenance.

That’s the view of a group of city councillors set up to examine the way the city’s roads are looked after.

Twenty-eight recommendations have been made by the Best Value review group to improve services and the quality of performance by council staff.

Some areas of highway maintenance have been praised for being well run and giving effective results.

These are street lighting, the standard of principal roads, winter maintenance such as road gritting, and tree maintenance.

Others, such as pavements and minor roads, were found to be below the average standard in the West Midlands

To improve the different council departments must change the way they work with each other. Some policies need to be changed and new techniques must be investigated.

Best value reports have been recently introduced by the government to make councils take a good look at the services they offer. Highway Maintenance is the largest public department yet to face a review in Coventry

Services include road and pavement maintenance, street lighting, winter gritting, bridge maintenance, street trees and other horticultural maintenance, and has a budget of £7.9m per year.

These services are provided through several council departments and many private contractors.

Cllr Brian Patton, chair of the Highway Maintenance Best Value Steering Group, said:

"The review has been extremely thorough in looking into all areas of the services that are provided by the City Council's highway maintenance function.

“It has given us the opportunity to challenge why we are providing these services, compare our services with other external employers that also provide the same or similar operations, along with the chance to consult a wide variety of people to find out what they really think. 

“We have also been able to see how well our services and costs compare with others and identify a plan of action for continuous improvement."

"Best Value has given us the reason to delve deeply into the current systems by which work is carried out now, along with systems that we have inherited from the past..

“We can learn a great deal from these and information that is now available through advanced technology, which will hopefully go to benefiting us all in the future.

“It is true to say that many of the findings from the review were not a surprise, instead they highlighted areas that we had already expressed our dissatisfaction about, but due to resources and lack of funding we were unable to make good progress in those areas."

"We have now been able to document the outcome and recommendations from the review and produce a programme of areas for improvement along with a timescale for implementing them."

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CWN / Politics / Coventry City Council / 7 Mar 01
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