I just thought I’d drag the issue of the standing water at Anchor Bridge, and Walsall Council’s response to it, into the light again. Following last week’s post on the subject, council officer Glyn Oliver replied to my concerns here on the blog. His reply is remarkable, and I’d like to feature it prominently so everyone concerned about this issue can be aware of it.
We have been conscious of the problems with the gullies in this location and have regularly attended to clean them out. Each occasion the ponding has taken longer and longer to release which suggested a problem further along the line. We carried out a survey and discovered that the developer had placed a bollard through the public sewer. The majority of gullies drain to a public sewer. Public sewers for over 20 years now are the responsibility of the water company in this area it is STW (one assumes this means Severn Trent Water – Bob). Walsall Council cannot a repair on a third party property for a number of reasons not least being ultra vires. This is the legal position and Walsall operates within the law. The problem has been reported to STW and will be monitored to ensure they repair the problem.
This response, to me, seems mealy-mouthed and unhelpful. Who is ‘The Developer’? How might we contact them? We need to get this fixed before it causes a serious accident. One assumes the ‘bollard’ talked of is one of the ones on the right of the image, to the front of Knaves Court and inches from the public footway. Since Walsall Council bigged up their part so much when Knaves Court was opened, it seems strange that they won’t lift a shovel to this. Perhaps the civic investment was in all the functioning bits of the building. Mind you, straying 6 inches into private property – all be it a social housing complex part funded by the authority – would be a heinous crime indeed. Anything in latin sounds profound, but is usually bullshit.
I would, however, point out that this situation has existed before Knave’s Court and before those bollards were erected, so I think it’s probably a red herring. Still, the council are ‘monitoring’ things so we can all sleep easy…
Since I posted last, a complaint about the same issue has appeared of Fixmystreet, and David Evans has got a great picture last night of just how bad the situation currently is. My hopes were raised somewhat earlier today, when David mailed me to say workers were excavating nearby, but having been to look and the hole, I don’t think the job is connected, and South Staffordshire Water (whose name is on the barriers) seem to be digging in order to lay a water pipe instead.
I welcome opinions or knowledge of the matter.
I am also sure this is a much longer standing problem.
Surely as highway authority the Council has at least some enforcement powers over anyone causing problems on the highway, especially where it is potentially dangerous as this clearly is to road users and pedestrians alike. One would have thought the Police would have a role in this, too.
As I understand it South Staffs Water is only responsible for water supply; Severn Trent Water is the drainage authority.
I’m not about to argue with Glyn (who is very knowledgeable and professional) about whether it is ultra vires for the Council (in other words beyond what the law permits the Council to do) to carry out works, but there ought to be some power by which, if the culprit does not rectify the situation, the Council can do so and recover their costs, as in some other enforcement situations.
As usual a lousy response from the Council, buck passing and generally washing their hands of the issue. This is dangerous in a car so what it must be like on any 2 wheeled vehicle I shudder to think. I would expect that the vast majority of road users couldnt care less who “owns” the problem, just get it fixed!
The ongoing works which has caused traffic chaos the last couple of days appears to have been on a service valve to the water main. As i passed today they were fitting a new cast iron cover to the said valve, this was all that appeared to be being done.
Keep up the good work Bob, the more coverage this gets the more likely we are to get some action.
There has been a problem in that location of standing water since early 90’s.I lived in the high rise flats, Waine house, and remember watching the chaos on the road it caused after a pour down of rain.
As Vicki says, it’s not a new problem. I always hated getting off the bus from Aldridge in the rain, and walking back over Anchor Bridge, because I’d get soaked as cars ploughed through it.
I used to work for STW actually – and yes, it’s definitely their responsibility. That being said, if the blokes from the council got on the phone they could chivvy things along. Bad dates, Indy.
Some work was done at the end week of April 27th. Done by Severn Trent. They opened a hole in the street, then closed it back up, but left the temporary signal lights up on Friday. It is now Sunday April 29th and the flooding is worse then ever, completely covering the road in front of Knaves Court and the Mansfield construction site. It is now a lake. I don’t think this is completely to do with overflowing gullies anymore. The street on both sides has had a “sink hole” ever since I moved here (3 yrs) and is made worse by the heavy lorries allowed to go through the high street. Its a shame that the Walsall Council, the water company and the construction company who laid down the road are now playing the blame game and no one is going to take full responsibility for the problem. The Council has instituted this new “STREET PRIDE” yet, Brownhills is the one town they seem to neglect, EXCEPT for when a new foot path is “needed” in front of the Hussey Arms pub. Both round abouts in Brownhills are flooding (at the Miner and the Rising Sun) making it very dangerous since the latter is coming off an A road. I wonder where exactly out councils priorities are?
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