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Ringway builders left Garston paving works in 'dangerous' state in Boundary Way
Piles of old concrete slabs were left dumped outside front doors and on top of lawns overnight by council contractors resurfacing a Garston footpath.
Boundary Way paths were also ripped up and left unfinished by staff working for Ringway, the company which has the £35 million-a-year contract for maintaining the county’s roads.
Residents were not even warned of the work being carried out on the footpaths because it was not policy for letters were not dropped through doors.
Councillors were not informed either, meaning the residents only became aware of the re-laying project when they saw the concrete slab piles and dug-up surfaces outside their homes.
The blunder comes six months after County Hall issued Ringway with a formal early warning notice, ordering them to address concerns over performance since the contract went live last October.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who represents Central Watford and Oxhey ward on Hertfordshire County Council and is the party’s opposition spokesman for Highways, said: "This was a £53,000 pavement project that the county council has not thought to tell local councillors, local residents or the residents association about and put no notices out.
"In my opinion the Ringway staff left the site in a dangerous condition. Slabs were left piled up at night outside front doors thus creating a trip hazard.
"Residents I have spoken to said they would have preferred just the slabs to be re-laid as they were not broken, although some were uneven.
"The biggest issue was the lack of communication or thought for residents in this whole project, and this shows a disdain for the public.
"As a result of my complaints, the whole approach to communication and information on such schemes is now being reviewed."
Following the complaints Ringway apologised for any inconvenience caused.
Matthew Kelley, Divisional Manager for Ringway said "For a considerable period of time both residents of Boundary Way and Ringway Safety Inspectors have been reporting issues related to footway trips which were then made safe.
"Funds have now been allocated to address these issues and deliver safety improvements in an efficient manner whilst minimising costs for the taxpayer. Whilst these works were taking place we were made aware of some concerns regarding the manner in which some paving slabs had been stacked. These were removed and Ringway have reviewed their procedures and training accordingly.
"Whilst we do not normally provide advanced communication to residents for small works, in the case of Boundary Way, we do accept due to the large number of these works it would have been beneficial to have done so. As a consequence Ringway have reviewed our process and decided in similar circumstances to carry out advance notifications of both residents and councillors."
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