The weed infested streets of Ipswich

Discussion in 'Civic & Community' started by martinc, Sep 2, 2017.

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  1. martinc

    martincMember

    Messages:
    669
    I'm sick of traveling around this town and seeing so many road gutters full of weeds. It's like an epededmic now, everywhere except town centre which I assume is receiving some cleaning. It's not just roads of course, many footpaths are as bad especially around trees and other street furniture. Last year I reported this to SCC via their online report site. After numerous chase ups and vague offers from SCC to investigate I gave up. Nothing changed, I don't think anything has been done since, the stuff died back in winter and has now come back bigger and greener than ever.
    So a few days ago I started again. Again I used the SCC highways reporting tool and got a reply soon after. Well would you believe it they told me it's Ipswich borough council who are responsible... They never told me that last year! But of course instead of them passing on my enquiry in a joined up helpful way they simply told me to report it to IBC myself. So I have done that as well now. I'll keep you posted on the outcome. I know I'm not the only person pursuing them on this so get stuck in folks. The more who complain the better.
     
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    • Ipswich

      IpswichAdministratorStaff Member

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      We will be complaining about this by letter to relevant parties (Suffolk County Council,Ipswich Borough Council,Ipswich Central,Ipswich Vision,Ipswich MP) and letters to all councillors. It is beyond a joke.
      Will post any response or updates on here.
       
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      • dan5

        dan5ModeratorStaff Member

        Messages:
        1,565
        A list of roads SCC is responsible for. No doubt every single one falls under their responsibility. As with a lot under the two tier system - don't quote me on this I could be mistaken - it is generally IBC that do the work. The borough seems responsible for "housing areas" but also do highway grass verges under contract from SCC. I am not too sure why the borough (and not the Highways Agency) does much of this work - is it really in their remit? Do they only undertake this extra area of responsibility as the county won't?
         
      • OP
        OP
        martinc

        martincMember

        Messages:
        669
        2 sept 17

        Dear Mr C..


        Thank you for your enquiry regarding the weed growth in gutters on Colchester and Valley Road, Ipswich. Weed control and carriageway sweeping in Ipswich is carried out by Ipswich Borough Council. Please see website address to contact them directly: www.ipswich.gov.uk


        Best Regards

        Melanie Hall

        Suffolk Highways
         
      • OP
        OP
        martinc

        martincMember

        Messages:
        669
        but last year I got this, so has something changed in 12 months?


        Dear Mr C....

        Thank you for contacting us regarding the overgrowth on Colchester Road, Ipswich, reported under reference number 146999.

        We can now provide you with the following update:

        Thank you for your report. This job has been highlighted before and has been programmed in for future works.

        If you did not report this problem online please be aware that you can make payments, report problems and find information about Council services by visiting our website www.suffolk.gov.uk.

        Please do not use the reply function of this message. This mailbox is not monitored and therefore your email will not be seen.

        Kind regards,

        Chloe
        Customer Service
        Suffolk County Council
         
      • dan5

        dan5ModeratorStaff Member

        Messages:
        1,565
        So bizarre. What a difference a year makes... :D I noticed last year they didn't give specific details or estimate of when the works would take place! Really poor. Two local government organisations both equally don't care about Ipswich!
         
      • OP
        OP
        martinc

        martincMember

        Messages:
        669
        here we have the latest update, SCC seem to be taking responsibility again, and to add no reply from IBC apart from an automated acknowledgement so far, I have made bold the most interesting bit;



        Suffolk County Council Problem Report 00179507 Logged
        N
        [email protected]
        Reply|
        Today, 11:20
        ********************************
        Many thanks for your report logged with Suffolk Highways.

        Your report reference number is: 00179507
        COLCHESTER ROAD, IPSWICH

        Date reported: 05/09/2017

        Description: The weed growth in road gutters in many streets outside Ipswich town centre has now got to acceptable levels. In some roads the kerbs are complete obscured by the weed growth, in places these are over a foot high now. I reported this last summer as well, (and got no where) so far as I can see little or no gutter cleaning is being carried out allowing this growth to occur. It is now affecting road drainage causing larger puddles, which has an impact on cycles, and pedestrians using the paths. Please advise when all this weed growth will be removed, and what the policy is for the regular cleaning of our road gutters. This is now making many streets in the town look unactable scruffy, please take some action.

        The relevant Suffolk Highways team will investigate your report and make a decision on any action that may need to be taken and by when.


        However, there might be circumstances when we may need to contact you to clarify some aspects of the issue that you have raised and hope that, if so, you don't find this too intrusive.

        We will update you on our response to your contact but this may take up to 30 days depending on the nature of the problem. However, please be reassured that any urgent health and safety matters will be prioritised.
         
      • dan5

        dan5ModeratorStaff Member

        Messages:
        1,565
        Unitary Authority now! SCC has the responsibility for Colchester Road... maybe if the subcontract to IBC fails to complete, they are obligated to do it themselves? I don't know.

        It seems like a team of office bods at SCC will be chasing it up with IBC?

        Either way, it is getting beyond a joke now. Something needs to be done about it.
         
      • OP
        OP
        martinc

        martincMember

        Messages:
        669
        there's some white lines along the edge of the carriageway in one spot in Colchester Road that have nearly been obscured by the weed growth now.... I really need to go around and take some photos, but not had the time, If only we had a progressive local media outlet that you could talk to and could take on this sort of thing on behalf of its readers... rather than the quiz and choo choo obsessed rag we have now...
         
      • OP
        OP
        martinc

        martincMember

        Messages:
        669
        so I got this a week ago from what I assume is an automated IBC system, it goes on further to repeat my initial report and details. Suffice to say I have had no further response yet, it will be due no later than tomorrow.



        service.firmst[email protected]
        Reply|
        Mon 04/09, 14:51
        *************email********************
        Dear Colleague,



        The email below was sent to the IBC general enquiries email address. Please reply to the sender within five working days.

        The customer has been sent an email informing them their enquiry has been passed on.



        Kind Regards

        Customer Services

        *** AUTOMATED EMAIL: This email address is unable to take replies ***




        On 02 Sep 2017, [email protected], wrote...

        my-ipswich-logo.png

        Ref No: CS58143742

        Dear Colleague,

        Please find details below of 'Report It - Other' form completed online. Please send to the responsible department they will need to respond to the customer if required within 5 working days.



        Select issue to report: Other


        Other: weeds in road gutter


        Please enter the name of the street: colchester road


        Please select the street from the list: Colchester Road


        Please provide information on the location, such as the exact address (if known) or anything that would help us locate the problem.: Colchester Road, Valley Road, and many other roads outside the town centre.


        Please provide further details of the problem you are reporting: The weed growth in road gutters in many streets outside Ipswich town centre has now got to acceptable levels. In some roads the kerbs are complete obscured by the weed growth, in places these are over a foot high now. I reported this last summer as well, (and got no where) so far as I can see little or no gutter cleaning is being carried out allowing this growth to occur. It is now affecting road drainage causing larger puddles, which has an impact on cycles, and pedestrians using the paths. Please advise when all this weed growth will be removed, and what the policy is for the regular cleaning of our road gutters. This is now making many streets in the town look unactable scruffy, please take some action.

        etc etc...
         
      • dan5

        dan5ModeratorStaff Member

        Messages:
        1,565
      • OP
        OP
        martinc

        martincMember

        Messages:
        669
        exciting isn't it, like Christmas....
         
      • OP
        OP
        martinc

        martincMember

        Messages:
        669
        here we go, latest in depth and detailed response from IBC, read it and weep...

        [email protected]
        Reply|
        Today, 13:32
        You
        Dear Mr ******



        Thank you for contacting Ipswich Borough Council with your enquiry. This has been logged with the cleaner Ipswich department who I am sure with endeavour to deal with the issue.



        Kind Regards

        Customer Services
         
      • OP
        OP
        martinc

        martincMember

        Messages:
        669
        the mission goes on, I have now contacted my three local councillors for their help. The clock is ticking again...
         
      • dan5

        dan5ModeratorStaff Member

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        1,565
        I hope they make a big deal about it and get something done about it. especially if they are not keen on the £5m fund to help upper orwell crossings route
         
      • OP
        OP
        martinc

        martincMember

        Messages:
        669
        its seems two out three of the councillors are on the same email system as IBC and I have had two automated acknowledgements back from the same system as i did when contacting the Borough direct, so that could be a blow. I've used the writetothem website again which in the past has been very good. I'll wait a short while of course, patiently as ever, then will seek out direct email addresses for them all and start again... I may even write them letters!
         
      • OP
        OP
        martinc

        martincMember

        Messages:
        669
        well we have an important update, an acknowledgment was received direct from a local councillor earlier today followed up by a further full response this afternoon. I have removed all names to protect the innocent but I am very pleased that finally after over 12 months on this one someone has at last given me some answers. Now whether we will see cleaner streets of course remains to be seen;


        Dear Mr ******

        Following my e-mail earlier today, I have now received a reply from the Waste and Fleet Operations Manager which I set out below:

        "I am sorry this situation has arisen.

        I can confirm this area has been sprayed for weeds during the last week in August, as I am sure you are aware IBC spray all footways twice a year to control weed growth, weather conditions this year have proven to be a challenge and we have had to re-apply chemicals in some cases to gain complete control. The area in question is on a regular sweeping schedule and is due to be swept again within the next 2 weeks. Given the concern raised I will ensure additional monitoring is in place.

        Please pass on my apologies to Mr Curtis for the difficulty in receiving a satisfactory response in the first instance. I am confident this matter can now be resolved"

        In the circumstances I think it is important to keep this matter under review as I appreciate the points you have made about the adverse effect that untidy pavements and gutters have on the local environment.As the Operations Manager has confirmed that further action will be taken within the next two weeks, I hope that our pavements and gutters will be restored to a clean and tidy standard.Please do not hesitate to contact me again if this does not prove to be the case and I will press for further action to be taken.

        Yours sincerely

        **** ****
        Borough Councillor - Bixley Ward
         
      • dan5

        dan5ModeratorStaff Member

        Messages:
        1,565
        Give it two weeks... see if it is any different!
         
      • OP
        OP
        martinc

        martincMember

        Messages:
        669
        Had to laugh yesterday, went for walk up to the railway station to see how it's all bedding in. (It's crap isn't it). Just down road on the junction with ancaster road ( I think it is) there an extended bit of footpath and some railings.. now the road there has lovely new black top and new yellow lines, looks really tidy, but the extended bit of footpath has a drain channel through it that's completely full of lovely lush green weeds. Now would you not think to finish off the job properly they would not have just cleared the weeds? But no, let's do all that work to the forecourt and road but leave all the weeds in the adjacent footpaths. It makes me so angry!!!!!
         
      • dan5

        dan5ModeratorStaff Member

        Messages:
        1,565
        It is a very profitable business. (Although that article is about increased turnover and not profit)

        I don't think they are bothered about weeds at all. Not profitable for them.