Cllr Clive Baskerville’s 2020/2021 budget speech

Clive Baskerville campaigning for the many pot holes to be filled
Clive Baskerville campaigning for potholes to be filled

Let’s talk potholes. 

Barely six months after launching a much-lauded 24-hour fix-it policy, this Tory administration decided to scale it back, having concluded, “Job done.”

After one of the wettest and windiest winters on record, Royal Borough residents might be excused for thinking such a statement was premature. 

Standing water and frosty mornings are not conducive to keeping repaired potholes in pristine condition. Asphalt lifts out and holes re-appear as quickly as they are filled. Filling holes to a decent depth and sealing the edges properly are the minimum requirement if the work is to hold. Whether the £450,000 reportedly used to repair 471 potholes is money well spent, especially at a time when we’re talking about cutting budgets, is a moot point.

But potholes will continue to appear and need to be filled. Whether it’s done in 24 hours or 24 days, people will still need to get around our borough safely and without too much inconvenience.

The important thing is that the good people of RBWM need to have confidence that our council is doing a good job.

The jury is still out on that.

On a more general point; amid all the claims and political spin of what has and hasn’t been done over the last decade or so, I hope I’m not alone in feeling that a bit of humility and self-reflection on the [administration’s] benches is needed now more than ever.

I think one word would be a start.

And that word is ‘sorry’.   

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Cllr Clive Baskerville’s 2020/2021 budget speech

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