The problem of Unadopted and Private streets and roads in Castle Point and Canvey Island in particular, has dragged on far too long. With the potential to deal an “unexpected” heavy financial blow to residents at anytime, this is another ticking time-bomb affecting Canvey Island and some parts of the Castle Point mainland.
This matter was recently discussed by Castle Point Cabinet during the January 2017 meeting.
Essex County Council says it will work with Castle Point Council to solve the issue.
Despite many-many complaints from residents over many years, the subject more likely has drawn some interest from the local authority through the actions of ex-councillor C.Letchford in changing a couple of street lamp bulbs.
The CPBC chief executive moved at the time, February 2016, to persevere in determining with ECC that the County Council are responsible for the street lighting maintenance, even on unadopted roads.
One year further on Castle Point cabinet have resolved to……… continue trying!
Our local authorities can be very sensitive souls, so care must be taken in approaching County and should all of cpbc’s efforts be thwarted, only then may they consider court action. In effect it appears our representatives are more concerned about how it would appear should the Borough authority take out a legal action against the County authority , rather than the potential injury and criminal activity against us residents!
During the January cpbc cabinet meeting the member responsible for finance suggested residents expecting the council to fund the maintenance of street lights and bulbs were being “ridiculous”.
It would therefore appear that cpbc are chiefly concerned only for those roads where Castle Point Borough Council are actually “frontagers” themselves, thereby being responsible for maintenance of roads AND lighting!
With some private and unadopted road surfaces deteriorating to the point of being dangerous the question must be raised as to responsibility. The likelihood is that on purchasing a house fronting an unadopted road the buyer would be made aware of responsibilities by their solicitor, however unless maintenance is approached collectively, repairs are likely to be of little effect.
A street light holder may be unsafe, should it fall, this is likely to affect only the nearest property. Likewise if one lamp fails, those who only ever pass by in a vehicle using headlights will be unconcerned.
It has been accepted that crime increases during “lights out” periods.
Roads, some without pavements, have deteriorated to a standard that is both dangerous to pass and, more importantly, may be considered seriously discriminatory against those less-able to pass!
Many years ago, houses were developed under the agreement of Canvey Island Urban District Council, with monies reportedly collected from the developers held to meet the future making up to standard of the roads. Sometime between the monies collection and the passing onto Castle Point Borough Council, these funds appear to have become unaccountable for.
Many roads are now in an unacceptable condition to the detriment of car users, pedestrians and most importantly the less-able, many street lamps are in need of changing. Of lesser importance, but still relevant is the “Pride of Place” issue.
These issues have reached a stage where it is unfair for Individual Residents to be held responsible, the only approach can be a Collective approach!
A Collective of Individual Residents, we suggest, is actually a “Council”!
Why, with all of the substantial “Rainy Day” Reserve Funds that our local authorities have, cannot it be arranged for an annual budget (of residents council taxes) to be used to bring roads and lighting up to an acceptable and safe standard?
These funds could then be re-couped off of the responsible residents via various sympathetic methods and time period, and used to replenish the original outlay!
Why must it always be acceptable for such slow progress to be made in matters concerning local authorities, in this case the 43 years that Castle Point Borough Council was formed!
And even in the “light” of their own inactivity, our local authority still felt entitled to criticise a resident taking the initiative!
See “Councillor changes Light Bulb” newspaper report HERE!