Report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place)
The Cabinet Member considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place) which responded to a petition bearing 14 signatures, sponsored by Councillor Harvard, a Longford Ward Councillor, which had been submitted to the City Council on 17th April, 2018. The petition requested that the Council tarmac a strip of land adjacent to Sledmere Close, which forms part of Longford Park. The petitioners commented that the grass verge was currently a major health and safety concern and also a complete eyesore as the grass was constantly churned up by the traffic that drives upon it. An aerial image, plan of the area and photographs were appended to the report. The petition spokesperson and Councillor Harvard were invited to the meeting but were unable to attend.
The report noted that the petition related to a strip of land which was set to grass which formed part of Longford Park and runs adjacent to Sledmere Close. A low post and rail fence was erected many years ago within the park approximately 3 metres from the edge of the Sledmere Close road leaving a strip of grassed land, which has the appearance of a verge but forms part of the park. The Councils Streetpride Service maintain the park which encompasses the grassed strip adjacent to Sledmere Close on behalf of the Greenspace Service. Maintenance included grass cutting, litter collection and turf reinstatement when resources allowed. The report noted that as Sledmere Close was a relatively narrow road, 4 metres wide, vehicles were unable to pass without encroaching on the grassed strip of park land. This caused considerable damage to the grass which became muddy, unsightly and difficult to maintain.
The grassed strip of land does not form part of the adopted highway but falls within the management remit of the Councils Greenspace Service. The cost to remove the grass strip in order to widen the road would cost in the region of £20,000-£40,000 and was beyond their existing resources. The Council’s Highway Service would consider adopting the grassed strip of land as part of the highway however, they did not have the budgetary resources which would enable them to undertake the construction works. There were four lighting columns and a telegraph pole on the grass strip which made the proposal to widen the road more difficult therein more costly than usual. There would also be a loss of 400 square metres of Parkland to consider, the strip of grass was currently part of Longford Park, which was a Green Flag Park.
The report also noted that the Councils adopted Verge Policy stated that on roads of this type, until prioritised for works, there was the presumption that verge parking would be tolerated unless there were safety concerns and that repairs would be carried out to grass areas in accordance with normal procedures. Priority was given to main roads in and out of the city followed by important secondary routes.
RESOLVED that the Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities:
1. Consider the content of the petition and note the concerns of the petitioners’
2. Note that the land in questions forms part of Longford Park and falls within the management remit of the Councils Greenspace Service and does not form part of the adopted highway.
3. Note that the cost of laying the land to tarmac is estimated at in the region of £20,000-£40,000 and beyond the Councils Greenspace Service budget.
4. Note that although the Councils Highways Service would consider adopting the land as highway land they also do not have the resources to set the land out as tarmac.