What a pothole does

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CitroJim
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Re: What a pothole does

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote:
23 Aug 2017, 14:31
One of his biggest headaches on a daily basis was that none of the folks actually handing the money out understand the concept that it works out cheaper in the long run to *fully* renovate a worn out bit of road and then *keep* it in good repair than to keep patching up one that's already falling to bits. Sadly the folks in control of the budget are seldom looking further than the next election cycle, so getting longer term renovation projects approved is somewhere between difficult and impossible.


I really cannot understand this... Everybody else can see it but they seem oblivious...

They must be recruited on the basis that they are totally incompetent and stupid...

I've seen no end of similar bone-headed attitudes in other spheres of activity; it always flabbergasts me....

Davie, meant to say earlier... Isn't it amazing how quickly they bodge up a pothole as soon as a claim is made against it.

It almost smacks of hiding the evidence...

Hell Razor5543
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Re: What a pothole does

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

I think part of the problem may be due to how councils are funded from Central Government. I believe (but I am NOT certain!) that, in the past, they were given a budget and allowed to allocate how they used them (including the ability to put aside some for major works planned for future years). However, sometime in the past this was changed, and if a council did not make full use of their yearly budget they were allocated less funds the following year (by the amount they had underspent). If I am right this would explain why councils spend every penny they get given, without making plans past the end of that fiscal year.

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CitroJim
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Re: What a pothole does

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Hell Razor5543 wrote:
23 Aug 2017, 15:31
However, sometime in the past this was changed, and if a council did not make full use of their yearly budget they were allocated less funds the following year (by the amount they had underspent). If I am right this would explain why councils spend every penny they get given, without making plans past the end of that fiscal year.


Yes, there is some truth in this James - it was certainly the case in the 90s.

How I understood it was that underspends in one area were used at the end of the Financial Year to offset overspends in other areas and henceforth enable the books to balance even if it was a bit of a fudge-job or a book-cook sort of an exercise...

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Re: What a pothole does

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

The councils then found what looked like a viable loophole to set aside funds for future plans, and made use of it. Unfortunately it went wrong when the Icelandic Banks got into difficulties.

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Zelandeth
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Re: What a pothole does

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The big issue we had was that the final say on which departments got which chunks of the funding allocated to us by Central Government was decided by the full council of elected members - the officers of the council made *recommendations* to these elected members on what to do via committee reports etc - but they often didn't agree with out recommendations, and at the end of the day, we had to execute the "will of the council" - irrespective of whether we thought it made any sense.

This essentially meant that every four years you had a new boss - and everything started from scratch again. This was also why it was virtually impossible to plan any project that was longer than a couple of years. It's a vast, vast over-simplification of the situation, but from a purely notional standpoint it's pretty accurate.

I believe until relatively recently the were certain pots of funding from CG that were ringfenced for specific areas - those limitations were removed about the time that I started in the field, and it meant that a lot of formerly "safe" budget lines basically disappeared overnight.

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bobins
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Re: What a pothole does

Post by bobins »

Zelandeth wrote:
23 Aug 2017, 14:31

One of his biggest headaches on a daily basis was that none of the folks actually handing the money out understand the concept that it works out cheaper in the long run to *fully* renovate a worn out bit of road and then *keep* it in good repair than to keep patching up one that's already falling to bits. Sadly the folks in control of the budget are seldom looking further than the next election cycle, so getting longer term renovation projects approved is somewhere between difficult and impossible.


I'm guessing - and it is only a guess - that ripping up and relaying a road would come out of capital expenditure, whilst repairing potholes comes out of maintenance. And whilst you're spending capital on completely relaying roads, you've still got to fix the potholes in all the other roads that need repairing. The end result is that roads spending as a whole inflates up to a level where Joe public starts complaining that other worthy areas of council spending are losing out. A classic 'no win' situation.
There must be a way 'round it though, as West Sussex CC have (within the last year) embarked on a more structured approach to road mending and relaying. Must try and find out how they managed it and how it's getting on !!

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Zelandeth
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Re: What a pothole does

Post by Zelandeth »

Bingo.

One of the things which can really help kick off an actually working improvement scheme is having a council where one party has a decent majority of control. That way anything which requires committee approval (which generally means any project over a few grand) has at least a fighting chance of actually getting approved - or at least being sensibly discussed - rather than just getting bogged down in endless political inter-party bickering. There was a period where I was that we as officers knew that there was essentially zero point in sending any committee report to any full council meeting - as nothing would get approved because of that.

The required contract tendering and procurement process - especially when you end up with >£100K projects is just sheer madness as well. You're talking just the procurement - before you've even had anyone pick up a shovel - can take two years. By the time you've then factored in the three-five months of any given year that you can't do surfacing works because of the weather, how long the lead times on some of the materials you're going to need, the legislative process involved in applying for the permits to work and the traffic regulation orders to close/restrict road traffic flow, and giving people who might be affected by the work appropriate notice periods...You suddenly find that your four year project actually winds up having to be crammed into three *frantic* months of actual activity.

I know...I've been there and done that.

...Made me want to beat my head against a brick wall, I tell you.

Also, if I hope I never see a Gantt chart or Microsoft Project ever again as long as I live...

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CitroJim
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Re: What a pothole does

Post by CitroJim »

Zelandeth wrote:
24 Aug 2017, 01:00
Also, if I hope I never see a Gantt chart or Microsoft Project ever again as long as I live...


Ditto :evil: And I will do all in my power to ensure I never do again... Bloody hateful things...

I'd love to meet the inventor of the bloody things... Somehow I don't think he/she'd like to meet me :lol:

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Re: What a pothole does

Post by lexi »

Sorry Alex but maybe you should visit NZ some time before making too many excuses for the roads here, I've driven on both and the roads in Scotland are to put it bluntly "utter s**te" and are in a disgraceful state of repair in many places. I don't really care whether they date back to the Roman times or not, we live in 2017 now and we pay a lot of council tax (far more than I did in NZ) for broken and potholed roads, blocked and ineffective storm drains that constantly flood and only a bi-weekly rubbish collection... [-X
Yeah, I'll nip over to sample the roads eh..........like roads are such a meaningful thing in my life.
NZ this and NZ that. Nobody twisting your arm to stay here mate. You obviously lack any appreciation for this country or it's culture and history.
Weather , roads, bins, pollution, lack of blue sky, councils. Back to your Rookie Nation of Mutton Molesters for you I think :lol:

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Re: What a pothole does

Post by Mandrake »

lexi wrote:
24 Aug 2017, 09:38
Sorry Alex but maybe you should visit NZ some time before making too many excuses for the roads here, I've driven on both and the roads in Scotland are to put it bluntly "utter s**te" and are in a disgraceful state of repair in many places. I don't really care whether they date back to the Roman times or not, we live in 2017 now and we pay a lot of council tax (far more than I did in NZ) for broken and potholed roads, blocked and ineffective storm drains that constantly flood and only a bi-weekly rubbish collection... [-X
Yeah, I'll nip over to sample the roads eh..........like roads are such a meaningful thing in my life.
NZ this and NZ that. Nobody twisting your arm to stay here mate. You obviously lack any appreciation for this country or it's culture and history.
Weather , roads, bins, pollution, lack of blue sky, councils. Back to your Rookie Nation of Mutton Molesters for you I think :lol:

Whether I choose to live here or not and what the reasons are are my own business thank you.

I do like Scotland and have good reasons to be here, however just because I wasn't born here doesn't mean I somehow don't have the right to complain about things that should be put right. "Go home if you don't like it" is a pretty poor retort.

I pay taxes just as much as anyone else here, and I am bringing up a son here who will one day have to drive on these roads too. If you want to drive on pothole infested "Roman" roads and be happy with it, be my guest, but some of us would actually like to drive on 1st world roads instead of 3rd world roads, and I'm sure Davie would agree. If nobody complains, nothing will get done about it, that much is a fact.

If you're embarrassed that a small "colony" country of 4 million people can have superior roads to the "motherland", perhaps you should be. I only use it as an example of how things can be and that it is not a given that we should suffer through terrible roads and just "put up with it".

To be honest I've had enough of your constant sniping at me on the forum over the last few months including over on my blog, (nobody is forcing you to read my blog if you don't like it) I'm sure you think you're being funny but it's just plain boorish and unnecessary. So for that reason you're getting added to my ignore list so I'm not tempted to rise to any more of your bating. Cherio.
Last edited by Mandrake on 24 Aug 2017, 10:13, edited 1 time in total.

elma
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Re: What a pothole does

Post by elma »

I for one am glad thats over.
I like you both but this petty crap doesn't belong on the forum.
Notice it says "the friendly place" at the top, be nice if it stays that way.

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Mandrake
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Re: What a pothole does

Post by Mandrake »

Mandrake wrote:
23 Aug 2017, 11:55
we live in 2017 now and we pay a lot of council tax (far more than I did in NZ) for broken and potholed roads, blocked and ineffective storm drains that constantly flood and only a bi-weekly rubbish collection... [-X

Should've kept my mouth shut! #-o As of October (one months notice) North Lanarkshire Council have advised they are moving to general household rubbish collections only every 3 weeks instead of every 2 weeks. :evil:

A lot of people are up in arms about it, and rightly so. We struggle to get through 2 weeks with a "normal" sized collection bin, thanks in part to baby nappies and all the other mess he contribues, :twisted: not to mention that it stinks to high hell walking past the bin even closed with 2 weeks worth of baby nappies in it let alone how it will be after 3 weeks... :roll: There is no way we'll last 3 weeks without a bigger bin, which I'm sure they'll insist we pay for! [-X

Checked with my mum and she still gets weekly rubbish collection back in NZ. :(

At least we still have our quaint, mottled Roman roads though ? :rofl2:

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CitroJim
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Re: What a pothole does

Post by CitroJim »

Three weeks :shock: That's disgusting Simon...

Surely it is self-defeating as they'll have so much to collect after three weeks they won't be able to cope effectively and the quality of service will fall through the floor and bins will be left uncollected and spills as a result of their rushing trying to keep on top of the job will remain rather than being cleared up.

Effective rubbish collection is a sanitary essential and puts public health at risk if not carried out regularly and effectively. Every three weeks is not regular enough.

Back when I lived in Darwin we enjoyed a twice-weekly bin collection during the night to save disruption and congestion...

Now that was fantastic service but in tropical climes it was essential... Bins would start walking off by themselves after just a day...

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Re: What a pothole does

Post by Gibbo2286 »

Should you really be putting nappies in the rubbish bin? I'm told that some councils do a nappy recycling service.

We didn't have the problem, the poo was flushed and the terry nappies washed and reused.

A huge waste of money and resources these throw away things................................worse than diesel smoke for the environment. :-D

Ps. I live alone so rubbish collection is not a problem, my black bin goes out about once every seven or eight weeks.

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CitroJim
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Re: What a pothole does

Post by CitroJim »

Gibbo2286 wrote:
08 Sep 2017, 11:54
Should you really be putting nappies in the rubbish bin? I'm told that some councils do a nappy recycling service.

We didn't have the problem, the poo was flushed and the terry nappies washed and reused.

A huge waste of money and resources these throw away things................................worse than diesel smoke for the environment. :-D
Thing is Gibbo, modern nappies are so good their use is well justified for the health of the babe's nether regions... When ours were babies (well over 20 years ago now) we desperately tried to use terries and persevered for months but we went to disposables when the difficulties with nappy rash and the general happiness of our children really dictated their use...

Also, the costs and water usage of washing and drying of terries vs. the damage done by disposables is a moot point...
Gibbo2286 wrote:
08 Sep 2017, 11:54
Ps. I live alone so rubbish collection is not a problem, my black bin goes out about once every seven or eight weeks.


Same here. I make very little rubbish due to my lifestyle and could easily manage up to a month but I know most normal families could not manage a week - the amount my neighbours leave out for the dustman every Monday stagger me!

What really bothers me is most of my non-recyclable rubbish is packaging from supermarket foods :evil:

I recycle as much as I can and my bag of recyclable stuff is often ten times the size of my non-recyclable rubbish although both are tiny when put up against my neighbours!

Biggest problem we have around here is the pigeons and corvids pecking into the rubbish bags on bin day - why people can't use their green bin for food waste or at least double-wrap smelly stuff is beyond me... My rubbish is so clean it lives in my conservatory and never smells...

I learned how to wrap rubbish to make it vermin-safe when living in Darwin. One very quickly learned unless you wanted to be overwhelmed by flies and regiments of vicious army ants along with no end of other unwelcome vermin!!! The habit has stuck...