Twenty five pavements across the borough will benefit from an additional half a million pounds of improvements, thanks to Richmond Council.
Earlier this year hundreds of people nominated local pavements for repair as part of the Council’s Community Pavement Repair Fund. Fixes include replacing damaged paving slabs, replacing blacktop infills or eliminating standing water.
Previously the Community Pavement Fund allocated set funds per ‘village’, based on the number of nominations submitted. As per the new administration’s pledge, the Cabinet Member for Transport, Streetscene and Air Quality, has scrapped the “unfair lottery of pavement repairs”, but acknowledged the work that local residents had put into gathering support for pavement repairs.
As a result, this year Councillor Ehmann considered the nominations with good levels of support from residents and importantly then reviewed these roads against the Council’s pavement assessment system, which gauges the condition level of the pavement. Those roads most in need of repair were the ones that were agreed as part of the planned works.
Crucially, for the first time, each of the 18 wards in the borough will benefit from the scheme via a repair. Outside of the nomination process an additional 7 pavements have also been identified on the basis of need and will have works undertaken on them within the existing budget allocated to this process.
Moving forward, residents are encouraged to raise damaged pavements with their councillors. Engaging throughout the year with community representatives and councillors will ensure that Richmond Council understand where the pavements most in need of work are and that efforts are directed at these fixes, rather than seeing resources diverted to well supported, but sometimes less necessary repairs.
Cllr Alexander Ehmann, Cabinet Member for Transport, Streetscene and Air Quality, said:
“We know that our residents take great pride in the borough which is why we are investing in these vital pavement upgrades.
“Dealing with worn out surfaces, repairing potholes and renewing our pavements makes travel in all its forms safer for residents across the board whether they are walking, running, riding or driving.
“However, the Community Pavement Fund was not a good system and needed replacing with a fairer approach. Residents will continue to play a role in helping us to identify the pavements most in need of repair. However, we are taking the ‘popularity contest’ out of this process and instead are encouraging residents to report damaged footpaths 365 days of the year via their ward councillors. We will consider the requests we receive in our annual plans for repair work and the council will ensure that those most in need of work will be fixed.”