Publicity stunt criticised by Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats have welcomed the move by the Labour Council to finally take seriously the problem of potholes and road repairs in the London Borough of Haringey – but fear that actions may be too little too late. Last week Haringey Council announced that potholes and road repairs will now be prioritised after consultation with the public. Lib Dems have criticised the move as a publicity stunt which has covered the inaction of the Council nearly two years after a major Scrutiny Review identified that pothole repair and highway maintenance were well below par.

Cllr Martin Newton, Lib Dem Traffic and Highways Spokesperson comments:

“For years residents and Lib Dem councillors have been urging Haringey Council to get its act together and sort out our roads, which are some of the worst in London. We have one of the lowest levels of investment and consequently a backlog of repairs that reflect this neglect. For Labour to announce now that they have been listening to the people of Haringey either means they have been ignoring them for years or that this is a publicity stunt paid for by Council Tax payers.”

Two years ago Lib Dem Cllr David Winskill chaired an Overview and Scrutiny Committee Review into highways and footways maintenance that reported in March 2006 making 16 recommendations on how the service could be improved. The report was adopted by Haringey’s Labour Executive.

At a recent update given by Labour councillor Haley to the Committee on 22nd Oct 2007 it emerged that virtually none of the recommendations had been implemented or acted upon.

Cllr David Winskill, a member of the Haringey Council Overview and Scrutiny committee, adds:

“A lot of hard work went into the report – by residents, councillor and officers. We made a lot of common sense suggestions and it was acknowledged as a good report. It has been virtually shelved for all this time and the roads and pavements have been getting worse and more dangerous – not just for drivers but for pedestrians and cyclists. Action is certainly overdue, but this latest announcement by Labour will be greeted with some cynicism.”