At the parish council meeting on Thursday we were asked by a member of the public to provide an update on the Westfield Road amendments that Buckinghamshire Council agreed to action.
You will recall that delivery of the works was divided between Buckinghamshire Council (BC) and Taylor Wimpey (TW). BC installed the street light columns back in May. TW then needed to complete the bulk of the remedials before BC will install the speed monitoring strips. It is the works that are due to be delivered by TW that keep failing to materialise.
The latest information we have from Buckinghamshire Council is that Taylor Wimpey will undertake these works during the current 6-week remedial work period for all the works they are due to complete both within the esate and along Westfield Road. All Castlemead residents have already been advised of this work, via a leaflet hand-delivered to all properties by TW.
We have not been posting updates during the intervening months, because every other date we have been given for BC/TW to rectify the issues has not been fulfilled and there seems little benefit to disappointing residents again and again by passing on information from BC/TW when we are not confident it will be accurate. The works were incorrectly carried out by TW in June. At the time we were advised they would be rectified immediately. In July, they advised that they would be rectified shortly as needed to source additional materials. In August, BC advised that the work would be done by the end of the month. By September, TW advised that the works were being incorporated into their remedial program and they were waiting for authorisation of the expenditure. In October, we were advised that the works were approved and scheduled to start in mid-November. The works are now in progress. We chase BC reguarly, members are updated monthly and updates are posted within the parish council minutes.
The parish council therefore hopes that the works will be completed correctly, as stated, within the current remedial program. In honesty, we remain doubtful. Back in the spring, when the remedials were first agreed, BC had advised that the bulk of the work would be completely ‘shortly’ but that the painting/road markings would need to follow ‘in the summer’ as they could not be applied during winter weather. We have been reminding BC of the ever decreasing window of seemingly appropriate weather, but suspect that as these were not applied at the start of their 6-week program, that at the conclusion of their current remedials TW will advise that they will be unable to carry out this aspect until the spring. BC continue to advise that the works commissioned include the painting and all works should be completed. We hope that our fears are unfounded. BC will not attend and install the traffic monitoring strips until the TW works have been installed, so this aspect will not be completed by TW during their current works. We will continue to liaise with BC as the TW works progress, and beyond, until all the works agreed by BC are delivered.
At least one of our Buckinghamshire Councillors always attends our meetings and we regularly discuss both Westfield Road and all the other outstanding BC matters. The Wing & Ivinghoe Community Board also regularly provide updates from BC Development Management (the department in charge of liaising with TW) on this matter. Representatives of the Parish Council attend all the Community Board meetings. These meetings, and their minutes, are also open to the public should you wish to attend. However, the Community Board also has no power to ensure delivery of these works, you will recall that they had agreed to look at the Westfield Road situation after all the current remedials were in place if further activity needed to be considered. BC Development Management is itself beholden to TW for implementation, as no bond was taken from this developer by BC, and therefore BC can’t carry out the works itself & deduct the costs from the bond held.
We completely understand, and share, the frustration and disappointment felt by residents relating to the poor service delivery provided by BC and TW in relation to this matter and will continue to liaise with both BC and our Buckinghamshire Councillors until the matter is successfully resolved.