Pavements, Community safety and the Council's Green Strategy

Mr Will Dubin asked about pavement maintenance and improvement, community safety on borough streets and the Council’s green strategy

Reply by Cllr Cem Kemahli; Lead Member for Environment

We are committed to ensuring the safety of our residents, and terrorism is a threat we take very seriously. We work closely with the Government’s security advisors and the police’s counter terrorist team. They advise us of potential targets and vulnerabilities in the borough and we work with them to implement both interim measures and long-term measures. I am sure you can appreciate that counter terrorism details are not shared publicly.

Regarding footway maintenance, I can confirm that repairs are conducted on a needs-basis. The Planned Footway Maintenance programme is prepared every year based on an annual visual condition survey of the Borough’s highway network. The survey results are used to produce a condition score for each road based on the severity of defects, such as broken paving slabs, undulations, trips, and ponding. We also consider other factors, such as defect reports from regular safety inspections, complaints, and programmed utility road works. If left unchecked, the footway will quickly deteriorate, thus requiring more reactive maintenance and extensive remedial work in the future. Last year’s budget allocation for planned footway maintenance was £1,950,000 and approximately 150 schemes were completed.

In your question at our Council meeting, you also raised issues related to electric vehicle charging points. Improving air quality in our borough is a priority for the Council and encouraging the use of electric vehicles is the cornerstone of our environmental policy. We currently have 41 charging points from source London, of which 13 offer fast (22kW) charging, and over 60 in lampposts. As the lack of charging points can deter residents from purchasing electric vehicles, around 170 lamp column charging points are scheduled to be rolled out in the coming months. These offer convenient overnight charging for residents without driveways such as myself.

Residents can also request EV chargers near their homes. The procedure is explained on the Electric vehicles page. As part of our plans to expand our provision of lamp column sockets from around 60 to over 200, we wrote to all residents who had expressed interest in electric vehicle charging in April, asking for their suggestions for two or three lamp columns near their homes. As a matter of fact, Ms Cynthia Dubin replied on your behalf with three locations, and two of these were put forward to our contractors to be checked for technical suitability. One of the locations has been approved. The other lamp column did not have sufficient power to support a socket, so we asked the contractors to check another nearby lamp column and we are confident that we will be able to install two lamp column chargers close to your home in the next few weeks.

The Council also aims to reduce its own emissions. The Green Fleet Strategy adopted in 2018 will help deliver objectives by integrating clean and green vehicles into the fleet, reducing its mileage, reducing the size of the fleet and achieving a model shift for employees towards active travel. The Green Fleet Strategy will also ensure the vehicles operated by the Council and its contractors comply with the new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).