An East Sussex cabinet member faced questions on the council’s pavement repair programme at a meeting this week.
At a full council meeting on Tuesday (December 4), Eastbourne councillor Pat Rodohan (Lib Dem) asked Nick Bennett, lead member for transport and environment, to explain what plans the council has to repair pavements around the county.
The question comes after a motion put forward by Cllr Rodohan at Eastbourne Borough Council last month, saw councillors agree to lobby for more money for pavement repairs in the town.
The motion, which received unanimous backing from borough councillors at a meeting on November 14, called for at least half of the surplus funds from the Eastbourne Controlled Parking Scheme to go towards repairing the town’s pavements.
Cllr Rodohan said: “According to this council’s asset management figures, 10 per cent of the roads of East Sussex need maintenance, which I applaud as it is a great improvement over the past few years.
“However it also says that 54 per cent of our pavements need maintenance. What plans are in place for improvements to our pavements so that our residents can walk and ride a scooter safely?”
In reply, Cllr Nick Bennett, the council’s lead member for transport and environment, said: “I was pleased to circulate just last week a briefing … on highways asset management works. Included in that are options for the ways in which we repair and maintain our roads and our footways.
“As you know, the whole thing works on a series of priorities and if there are particular areas – whether it is a footway or otherwise – then the process is to report through the highways steward, which means there will be a follow up inspection.
“In terms of footway repairs, particularly in Eastbourne, you will have seen the extraordinary work that has gone on around the town centre. You will also be aware that some of the residential roads have had a great deal of money spent on them. “
Cllr Bennett added that around £720,000 had been spent on the maintenance works in Eastbourne.
In a follow-up question Cllr Rodohan asked Cllr Bennett to specify what planned pavement maintenance the council was undertaking.
Cllr Bennett said: “There is a planned maintenance programme for footways, it is £1.6m every year.
“Of course that is across the whole of the county [and] you have to refer to the asset plan to determine which footways are the first to be mended.”
Huw Oxburgh, Local Democracy Reporting Service