EDITOR – We are indebted to Coun Tony Turner for serving up the county council’s apology for the state of the roads and the chaos caused by the recent snowfall.
What does the apology mean? Are they working hard on a plan to ensure they will not be caught with their trousers down if it happens again, or are they relying on reciting the mantra “only once in 40 years”?
According to ‘climate experts’ it seems likely that it will happen again – more frequently.
The Rasen Mail of January 26 reminded me of how things used to be.
In January 1956, for instance, snow was cleared promptly and efficiently and dumped in fields.
Perhaps the farmers didn’t have to worry about having sinful red diesel in their tanks while working on the highways.
In days gone by we paid for an annual road fund licence and that’s what it was, a fund to maintain the roads. Where does the £410, which I pay, go? “Ah, gas guzzlers – and you should only have one car.”
Gas guzzlers – no. One goes 45 miles on a gallon of diesel whilst the other does 70mpg.
Supposing I was able to bear the indignity of only having one car and scrapped one. The exchequer would be the loser by at least £205 per year.
So the council is short of funds to maintain the roads. Does this mean that Riby drag will be reduced to a cart track in a year or two? What is the plan?
Clearly some of the problem lies with central Government funding and there occurred in my head something approaching sympathy for the poor council until I read that the Lincolnshire Highways Department was proposing to spend £60,000 on 21 speed bumps in Stamford.
Of course, £60k wouldn’t mend many potholes, but:
1) It shows where their priorities lie.
2) They’re not skint after all, and how much more is stashed away in ‘special funds’ that can’t be used to repair the roads?
Under the Freedom of Information Act I would be interested to learn how much the head of LCC Highways department earns for his labours, expressed as a percentage of the Prime Minister’s salary.
Finally, just in case the council is not busy devising a contingency plan, what about a competition for school leavers to do just that? Maybe an approved plan that could be set into motion by town councils to clear roads and paths, out in the sticks where us peasants live, in the event of heavy snowfall.
Leaving the county councillors to devise their own plan for the prompt clearance of their car park.
Industia civitum floret civitas (But the state will not flourish if people can’t get to work).