March 9 2014 Latest news:
by Jane Ball , News Editor
Thursday, April 5, 2012
» “Madness” is how a resident described a water company digging up a Harold Hill footpath – the day after Havering Council finished repaving it.
Council workers have spent the past five months relaying St Neots Road, only to see some of their work destroyed by Essex & Suffolk Water - which were repairing a leak.
Cllr Barry Tebbutt, cabinet member for environment, branded the situation “totally ridiculous”, while residents have been left fuming.
Householder Paul Norris said: “No one could believe it when the water company started digging up the path.
“The council has been working on the footpath since October, and it looked great. We just don’t understand how this could not have been coordinated better. It’s madness. Someone’s money is being wasted by all this – probably ours.”
He added: “We’re just sick and tired of constant works.”
But the water company has insisted the work was essential and unavoidable.
Cllr Barry Tebbutt added: “It is totally ridiculous that Essex & Suffolk Water did not tell us before they started work as we could have coordinated it with the work carried out by the council. However, this was not case and we are now speaking to the utility company to put matters right.”
The council says utility companies would have to apply for a licence to dig up the borough’s roads but this does not apply to footpaths.
A spokesman for the water company said: “The work undertaken was an essential repair to a leak. The repair has now been completed and the path reinstated.
“We make every effort to coordinate our work with the local authority and other utilities, where possible.
“Unfortunately, on this very rare occasion this did not happen.
“We would like to apologise to the local residents and to the London Borough of Havering for any disruption caused.”