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Ask the Leader

The Leader of Wealden District Council is Councillor Bob Standley. He will be pleased to answer any question you may have about Wealden District Council's policies, or other matters involving the Council, which you think are of interest to people living, working or visiting Wealden.

To ask your question, please use our or Ask the Leader - Submit a Question Form

Councillor Standley is the Conservative Leader of the Cabinet of Wealden District Council and has represented Wadhurst since 2004.

Specific inquiries about particular services such as planning applications, licensing or accommodation can be reported online. Please use our 'directory of tasks on online services' to find the appropriate form. You can also email info@wealden.gov.uk.

We will try to respond within ten working days of receiving your question and your question and the Leader's reply will then be posted on the website. Please provide your name, we don't need your address. If we think the question is inappropriate for publication we will contact you by email to say why.

For information on any of the Ask The Leader questions listed please contact our Communications Officer on pr@wealden.gov.uk.

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The latest Ask the Leader questions and answers are shown below. To view more questions and answers, use the search above, or the 'In this Section' menu.

Repairs to the roof of the Hailsham Council offices

Question

Dear Mr Standley, I think in 2013/2014 or thereabouts, the roof of the Wealden Council Building in Hailsham appeared to have an extensive and thorough refurbishment, for what ever reason, at considerable cost I suspect; yet now we see in 2015 it undergoing another makeover. Why is this and at what cost to the finances of the Council? I feel the paying public should be told about this and why, after having a new reconstructed roof earlier, should now warrant more expense in relaying all the roof structure again. Was the original work not satisfactory/defective or carried out incorrectly? Your comments would be appreciated Don Williams

Answer

Dear Mr Williams, When we carried out the refurbishment of the Vicarage Lane office building, which was in 2011, we were given the option of retaining the existing roof. We were advised that there was still a number of years’ useful life in the structure, and decided to save money by not re-roofing the building. However the adverse winter weather in both 2012 and 2013 has taken an undue toll on its water resistance, and we have had no option but to carry out re-roofing work earlier that we had hoped. An extensive tendering process was carried out before appointing contractors to carry out the work. The sum of £100,000 has been set aside for this contingency. Regards Bob Standley.

Roadside litter

Question

Sir, I had cause to do quite a bit of travelling around the district over the last few days. I could not help but notice the disgusting state of the litter on at least 75% of the roads including several main roads. I have lived in Wealden for the last 25 years and have always regarded this as a fantastic area to live in and it's always been well looked after until now. This must be as a direct result of the council trying to save money by outsourcing the service again compromising the residents by having a cheap service run by idiots who cut corners all the time to make money. I also see that the workers have again been let down by Kier and are now considering industrial action does the council not have a any concerns over this ? As a tax payer I do we have nothing but a reduced service with maximum disruption since Kier took over as we all know you pay peanuts you get monkeys and that is what we have since you took the disastrous decision to further your political beliefs and force it onto us the tax payer. I would like you also to tell me why they are going to change all the refuse collection rounds again but this will not take place till after the elections so you can all keep your seats and then upset us all I am sure you won't let the voters know about this until you are all safe again.. Can you please let me know the answer to that and what you intend to do to sort out the litter problem and the concerns if any you have over the workforce you sold down the river. Regards Julie

Answer

Dear Julie Harmer, We are aware of problems with litter, especially on main roads and we have highlighted this to Kier and asked for additional resources to clear priority areas. A crew has been out litter picking on the A22 and A26 recently. A new code of practice came into force on 1st October 2014 in relation to working on roads and highways. The aim of the code is to enable persons undertaking street works and road works to safely carry out their activities with particular regard to signing, lighting and risk assessments. This new process involved new signage and training for Kier staff which took time to implement. Regarding your point about the possibility of industrial action: The Council is aware of Unison concerns about the treatment of staff in the Wealden area. We have been in touch with Kier on this matter and their management have admitted that there was an administrative error by their payroll team regarding back pay which should have been paid in January. They have agreed to correct this. As Kier is now the employer for the waste collection and street cleansing workforce, pay is a matter for that company, but I note that their staff were given a 2.2% pay increase, whereas the Council staff were awarded a 1% rise last year. No decisions have yet been made about any changes to the refuse collection rounds structure and the Council will work with Kier to ensure that their crews can deliver a high quality service to residents. The contract, across four Local Authorities in East Sussex, did have considerable problems at the start of the contract but is now delivering higher rates of recycling with a wider range of items collected from the kerbside. To return to your original point re litter, it would of course be beneficial if motorists and their passengers took the rubbish home instead of littering our countryside. Regards Bob Standley




For information on any of the Ask The Leader questions listed please contact our Communications Officer on pr@wealden.gov.uk.

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