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MP reports council to District Auditor

PUBLISHED: 18:48 10 June 2009 | UPDATED: 10:04 06 July 2010

An MP has reported Suffolk County Council to the District Auditor and lodged an official complaint with the Ombudsman over the authority's "repeated refusal" to address residents' complaints about a road surface.

An MP has reported Suffolk County Council to the District Auditor and lodged an official complaint with the Ombudsman over the authority's “repeated refusal” to address residents' complaints about a road surface.

Waveney MP Bob Blizzard said the road surface at Kingfisher Court in Oulton Broad has caused problems for people living there ever since it was laid in summer 2007.

He said that over the last two years, residents have complained of the surface cracking and chippings coming away on shoes and tyres.

Mr Blizzard said: “I've been down to Kingfisher Court to see the problems for myself and it's clear that this is more than just a few loose chippings.

“The surface is being torn up by cars, and especially by the hulking refuse vehicles that drive across it. This leaves road chippings and tar all over the place, and people then walk those chippings into their homes.

“Now the council are saying all they will do is 'arrange regular sweeping'. People I've spoken to there are collecting entire bags of chippings in a single day - regular sweeping just isn't good enough. It's nearly a year since the road was re-treated, and two years since it was originally laid. If it's still having these problems now, there's obviously something wrong with it, and it needs to be fixed properly.

“I'm reporting the council to the District Auditor as I think they have wasted taxpayers' money on work that is simply not fit for purpose, and to the Ombudsman because they have repeatedly refused to take residents' complaints seriously.”

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “The county council's highway manager met with Mr Blizzard last month to look at the situation in Kingfisher Court.

“There were problems with the initial dressing and because of this we have arranged regular sweeping of Kingfisher Court. We will keep this under review and hope to be able to reduce the frequency as the dressing stabilises.

“Although surface dressing is not a popular treatment it is nevertheless a vital element of our highway maintenance programme.

“Applied at the time when a road is beginning to show signs of deterioration it is very effective in sealing the surface against the weather and so saving much more costly treatments at a later date. Without this treatment the county's roads would be in very much worse condition.

"In the case of Kingfisher Court the road surface was very heavily cracked prior to the dressing. These cracks would have quickly developed into potholes had the road not been dressed necessitating regular localised patch repairs.”

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