Hounslow Council

Agenda item

Open Forum

An opportunity for members of the public to address the meeting on general issues relating to the agenda and other issues not on the agenda.  Please note that individual cases cannot be discussed. 


Question submitted in advance of the meeting:


St John’s Residents Association:

What steps are Hounslow Highways taking to prevent instances of abortive highway works where road signs are put up to suspend parking for a full day and no work takes place.  This happened on Linkfield Road and Mill Plat Avenue last week and also on Avenue Road. In all instances no letters were sent to local residents informing them of any works. It is appreciated that there is a very short window for resurfacing but the website needs to be updated and residents need to be properly informed in advance. When will these roads be resurfaced and when will the residents be informed?


Response by Hounslow Highways:

The usual communication process for informing residents of upcoming works is that pre-works letters are sent out 4 weeks in advance of the treatment works commencing.  On this occasion, as works are due to commence on the 3rd July, letters should have been sent out by week commencing 5th June. 


However, as a result of a breakdown in our communication process, letters informing residents of the upcoming scheme were not sent out in time.  These internal issues also affected the notification that would have advised residents that Hounslow Highways was experiencing a delay in commencing works due to an overrun of works on another site.  Linkfield Road and Mill Platt were signed and coned with ‘No parking/suspension’ signs in preparation of these works, however the signage was removed the same day when works did not start.


We sincerely apologise for the lack of communication residents have received from Hounslow Highways in regards to this scheme, and we do acknowledge that some form of communication should have reached the residents who would be affected. 


We will be reviewing our own internal processes and procedures as a result of this to ensure that it does not happen again. The information could have been advised through our website and via Twitter in this instance, however it was not considered that the communication would reach all who would be affected within timescale. We are working to resolve our technical issues by the end of this week, and are hopeful that letters will be sent out to all residents early next week to inform them of the upcoming works. 


To advise you in regards to this scheme, please note that pre-treatment works including joint sealing and patching pre-treatment will be carried out in preparation for the grip fibre works which will commence on the 3rd July.  As advised, Hounslow Highways will be sending letters to residents early next week explaining the Grip Fibre 6 Step Process, which includes the need for parking restrictions, when the pre-treatment is carried out.


Should we not be able to attend programmed works on roads in the future, we will send the necessary apology letter with a revised date.  We apologise again for any inconvenience caused to residents.


Melanie Gadd, Head of Environmental Services and Contract Management, acknowledged that the response from Hounslow Highways fell short of the standard expected and agreed that a full investigation of the matter was required.  She stated that she would formally raise the matter with Hounslow Highways and report back to members following this meeting. 


When asked whether all complaints could be sent direct to her, Ms Gadd asked members to continue to use the members’ casework route and residents to use the Hounslow Highways website, each of which would generate a unique reference number for later follow up.  She assured members that she reviewed all Stage One complaints coming through those routes as a matter of course. 


Concerns in relation to the Council’s complaints system:

Concerns were raised that the Council’s complaints system did not include a process for ensuring that residents who submitted queries to the feedback@hounslow.gov.uk email later received feedback. 


Heritage Hounslow walks:

Members and attendees were circulated copies of the 2017 Heritage Hounslow walks programme (for further information visit www.hounslow-heritage.org.uk)