Potted road rage
Dear Ed, – After hitting a pothole on Kirkfield Road, Kirkfieldbank, in January this year, I contacted South Lanarkshire Council to obtain compensation for the damage caused to my car.
SLC advised me that as no-one had told it there was a pothole and it wasn’t there when the road was last inspected, it would not pay for the damage. Unsurprisingly.
I then made a FOI Act request to see a copy of the inspections in question and also a note of the repairs which had been carried out on four roads in my area – the council hardly does any repairs on the roads in question, so it shouldn’t have been an issue.
SLC informed that it would take four hours to perform this work and that it would not be carried out until I paid £80 for it. Having previously worked as Quantity Surveyor for a construction company carrying out this type of work, I know that it should only have taken 10 minutes to do – and the council is only legally entitled to charge me for the time it actually takes – so I complained to the Information Office about the cost and the fact that it had not priced the two requests separately.
Meanwhile, I also made a point of informing SLC about various potholes and dangerous areas of road on my normal routes; if I’m going to be paying for any damage, I’m quite sure I’m going to minimise the possibility of it happening at all!
The response then came back that the work had already been carried out and had taken four hours and that £80 was the proper amount to be charged. The council refused to respond to the query about pricing separately.
I complained that in the first letter SLC stated the work was not yet done and in its second letter the work had been done – one of the two wasn’t true! I also complained about the lack of separate pricing, again.
While I waited for a month for a response, I remembered something. I had been told in February this year; that my road, and those around it, would be getting re-treaded in the summer. It was now mid-August and very little of that work had been done.
I was particularly worried about Kirkfield Road as it was in a terrible state. I was advised that the re-treading and patching of Kirkfield Road would get done soon.
A couple of weeks later the surface of Kirkfield Road was, unsurprisingly, washed out by rain and the road has remained closed since.
The response to my complaint came in today. Apparently the council regards my queries as vexatious and it has refused to respond to my complaints.
I would urge ALL road users to advise South Lanarkshire Council of defects affecting local roads.
Without your input the council will claim not to know about potholes and will certainly refuse to pay out for any damage caused to your vehicle by the state of the roads. Alert the council to potholes via the council website or by calling 0845 740 6080 during office hours, or 0800 24 20 24 outwith office hours. – Yours etc.,
Dear Ed, – I would like to thank everyone for attending the meeting concerning the formation of a business group in Lanark.
The turnout was around 80 people, which demonstrates the desire to effect change in Lanark and the town centre.
We will be having another meeting on October 1, again at the Clydesdale Inn at 5.30pm.
As was discussed, our main objective for this meeting is to elect office bearers in order to be officially recognised in the eyes of the council. This is a crucial first stage and again a good attendance is required.
If anyone is interested in taking on the role as an office-bearer let us know!
And if anyone has ideas or suggestions for our possible mission statement again let us know! – Yours etc.,
Clydesdale Inn manager,
SOS for Lanark
Dear Ed, – I attended the meeting in the Clydesdale Inn. I listened to the discussion carefully, and was greatly encouraged by it.
It was striking that several people emphasised the links between reviving Lanark as a town and reviving its High Street.
Save Our Landscapes believes that improving the environment in and around Lanark can play a vital role in developing the local economy.
We know that New Lanark and the Falls of Clyde attract large numbers of visitors.
However, the benefit to the local economy is not as large as it could be because, for many, it is a day or half day trip.
If parts of the area’s former glory – such as Castlebank Park and the Bonnington Parkland – were to be restored, and if a greater variety of activities introduced, we would give people reasons to lengthen their stays. In turn this would mean that visitors spent more money in the town, and would create demand for new shops and services.
As several people suggested, much more could be made of Lanark’s own rich history.
So, in addition to the Falls of Clyde and New Lanark, there would be a third reason to come to Lanark.
However, it is distressing to see the old auction ring deteriorating by the week, and it’s beyond comprehension as to why South Lanarkshire Council can allow this to happen. Eyesores, such as the site opposite the Esso garage, should be tidied up to improve the appearance of the town. Such neglect creates a terrible first impression for visitors.
One of the disadvantages of our system of local government is that small towns such as Lanark can lack strategic vision. But all of us have a responsibility to do what we can to provide that vision, and to work together to secure Lanark’s future. – Yours etc.,
Chair, Save Our Landscapes,
Dear Ed, – It would be wonderful to see Lanark standing proud again, as its name implies, a Royal Burgh.
The council has tried, on its limited resources, with the bright avenue of red geraniums down the central reservation of the street, but wouldn’t it create a stunning effect if the shops (at their own expense and time - sorry) put out hanging baskets of flowers to decorate the High Street. This could also apply to Christmas time too.
Why not add an incentive such as a competiton for the best decorated shop? The council could provide a prize.
The competition could be extended to neighbouring villages, eg. the best dressed town. Look how pretty Crossford looks, at present, with flower baskets, window boxes etc, as you drive through.
Bring back the Mediaeval Fayre to the castle grounds. The atmosphere was wonderful there, using the old bowling green for archery etc. It created a mediaeval atmosphere in its own right, rather than a blank flat field, as in previous years!
It would be a great privilege to see Lanark restored, with pride. – Yours etc.,