Wednesday, 22 May 2019
Sunday, 15 January 2017

Slough Council spends £60,000
to avoid £3,500 public highway repair costs

New administration uncovers more Anderson-Swindlehurst legacy nightmares

Report and photographs: Paul Janik

Thrown-out council bosses are said to be responsible for wasting £60K fighting residents requests for the council to repair dangerous potholes in a council owned road. The cost of repairs was quoted by the council to be just £3,500 !

It gets worse, see below.

Having already established themselves as a new and much better council administration than ousted and discredited Anderson-Swindlehurst regime, Cllr Sohail Munawar and his team of executive councillors are responding to residents appeals for justice and common sense.

One of many astonishing legacy scandals is Blandford Road North.

Slough Council has refused for at least 10 years to repair massive potholes in a Langley road, a public highway open to all types of traffic, owned by Slough Council.

A brief history

Blandford Road North is now a cul-de-sac on the south side of Langley Road, directly opposite Middle Green Road.

The earliest map showing the road is dated 1761. It shows the road leading to fields that now form part of the Trelawney Avenue housing estate.

Where today's Slough Council's mobile home park Blandford Close exists was originally a gravel pit. Old Blandford Road was the access road into that pit.

Blandford gravel was used to repair local roads in Langley.

After the Second World War (1939-1945) the London County Council brought the fields to build their Trelawney Avenue Estate. An untarmacked road connected historic Blandford Road to the new Trelawney Avenue estate.

Years later, Slough Council erected 3 street lights in Blandford Road, renamed Blandford Road North in 1958. Recently the council replaced the concrete street lamps with LED lights (light emitting diodes - a form of computer chip) on metal poles. The new LED lights are much brighter and use much less electricity.

In 2008 Slough Council registered, at the Land Registry, Blandford Road North as the council's own property.

For many years council staff have persistently refused to repair any of the potholes in the road.

The council's refusal is strange because in 2004 or 2005 this reporter, Paul Janik, then a Slough councillor, actually got Slough Council to repair the potholes - But at that time Cllr Anderson and Cllr Swindlehurst were not in control of the council.

The council bosses have claimed:

  • the street is a Private Road,
  • it is not owned by the council,
  • it is nothing to do with the council's highways department,
  • it is the responsibility of the council's housing department despite the council's housing department never owning any part of Blandford Road North.

It seems the council was desperate to give any excuse not to fill-in the potholes. Then lawyers got involved.

More of Langley's famous invisible potholes

The Slough Times estimates that over the years Slough Council wasted at least £60,000 on experts, lawyers and fighting the residents in Court until the residents ran out-of-money.

That £60,000 excludes many hundreds of hours of council staff time which the council refused to quantify. All because council staff objected to a reasonable request that the council repair the many potholes in the council's own road; a sensible request supported by the public including parents whose children attend local schools.

Blandford Road North is well-used by parents and children, in Langley Road and north of Langley Road, to and from local schools especially Ryvers School.

Its mad and bad. That is the legacy of slovenly mismanaged Slough Council the new administration is uncovering.

On 3 January 2017, the new executive councillor for Highways Fiza Matloob visited Blandford Road North to see for himself how dreadful the potholes were. And the potholes are bad because Cllr Matloob refused to drive his car into Blandford Road North in case it got damaged.

Parents take their children to school along this dangerous potholed road. Disabled people in wheelchairs avoid it so too those using mobility scooters. It seems, to the Slough Times, that neither Swindlehurst nor Anderson really cared about Slough. Remember their slogan Proud to be Slough ?

Finally, as owner of the road, Slough Council has a statutory duty to make the road usable for all disabled people. One wonders why they have not.