Calderdale Council is responsible for maintaining over 1,100 kilometres of classified and unclassified roads, plus a further 1,000 kilometres of footways and another 1,350 kilometres of bridleways and paths, not to mention highway bridges, culverts, gullies, walls, street and traffic lights, etc.
Since 2010, funding for maintainance of this network has been cut savagely by successive Conservative governments.
Yet, not once (to my knowledge) have our borough’s Conservative councillors dared to raise even a whisper of protest or complaint.
Instead, they repeatedly blame the resulting problems on the council itself.
Hence the silly spectacle of their leader, Scott Benton, grinning to the camera as he squats over a single pothole in Birds Royd Lane, Brighouse (Courier, August 24).
Coun Benton must be aware that the highways department is considering a long-term reconstruction scheme for Birds Royd, potentially costing almost £1.5 million - because, like me, his Rastrick colleague, Coun Sophie Whittaker, received an email to that effect on July 27.
Similarly, the Conservative leader must know, from our agreed 2018/19 spending programme, that whilst the council has been able to allocate money for only seven major resurfacing projects throughout Calderdale, two of them are within the greater Brighouse area.
Can I assure Coun Benton that Calderdale’s current network funding allocations were recommended by the relevant professional officers, seeking to match the finance available with the immediate priorities in their rolling programme of year-by-year works.
What’s more, may I stress that their advice was accepted at all points by a Labour administration determined to put the needs of the whole borough ahead of the demands of individual councillors, whatever their party - and however loudly they may shout.
To establish, however, that neither Brighouse or Rastrick have been “forgotten”, may I also indicate that:
l Several weeks ago, Coun Whittaker was given a list of 17 roads in Rastrick presently scheduled for pothole patching - including Bridge End.
l To jog Coun Benton’s memory, officers would happily provide him with the list of 18 Brighouse roads which recently received similar patching treatment
l LED street lighting is expected to begin to be installed during October in Brighouse, Clifton, Rastrick and Hove Edge, at an estimated cost of £2.7 million.
l Specific measures will be developed to address traffic management and parking issues in Brighouse town centre.
In addition, there will be:
l Further design work on the Brighouse flood alleviation scheme
l Modern gulley covers and new variable message signs on the A644 Wakefield Road.
l A detailed review of parking issues in the vicinity of Brighouse station
l Traffic calming on the A643 at Crowtrees Lane, Rastrick
l Design/consultation for pedestrian crossing facilities at Thornhill Road and Bramston Street, Brighouse
l And, of course, continuing development work on the Clifton Enterprise Zone and the council’s multi-million programme of investment in the Brighouse district’s highway infrastructure.
Could I also reassure Canon Michael Storey that carriageway resurfacing is planned from Rochdale Road to Halshaw Clough on the A681 from Todmorden to Bacup, with additional patching from Limers Gate to the borough boundary?
Resident names and shames "disgraceful and dangerous" roads in Calderdale
Rastrick resident thinks Calderdale Council does not care about problems with roads
Resident thinks Calderdale is adopting an anti-motorist mentality