A week ago the LCC councillor for West Lancashire West, O’Toole, was in the throes of delight as he delivered his annual report to the Aughton Parish Council. His delight was based on how the county was, apparently, remedying the mess his Tory party had inherited in May 2017. Labour had left services closed or reduced, including, he said, that “Highways across the county were left in most awful state as a result of reducing the highways budget by millions and diverting the money to prop up other failing services. The lack of maintenance resulting in an ever growing number of potholes and dangerous road services”. He went on “We put millions back into highway maintenance starting immediately with 5 million earmarked for potholes and more recently the LCC cabinet voted a further 5 million again for potholes repair”.
All of which makes us wonder why the excellent QLocal website reports on the appalling situation caused by LCC neglect and incompetence at the junction of Northway and Moss Delph Lane. A local resident has informed Roger Blaxall “Re the fountaining manhole cover that you photographed at the junction of Northway/Moss Delph Lane…I noticed this too, back in early February, when it was fountaining in heavy rain, and all the adjacent gulleys were blocked/silted.
“I initially reported the drain to UU, and the gulleys to LCC (on their website). UU phoned me a few days later to say that they’d visited and lifted the manhole cover, they could see the drain was full to the brim, and is blocked. However, it wasn’t one of theirs, but is a highway drain so belongs to LCC. They told me they’d report the problem to LCC; for good measure I also added it to the LCC fault reporting website with some pictures that I’d taken. See LCC website fault report no 305628 details below, over 3 months ago now.
Highway Flooding, reported on 14/02/2018
Ref no: 305628
The gulleys were cleared shortly afterwards, but as you’ve just seen the drain remains blocked.’
Now perish the thought that, as O’Toole stated “Unfortunately we have experienced the wettest 6 months for decades and regardless of good intent you cannot repair wet potholes” but does that stop drains being unblocked? Does that excuse what is in the photographs published by Roger Blaxall, as this one shows?
O’Toole beats his own drum for all it’s worth in his annual report to the parishes in his division. “I continue to represent you as the conservative lead member on both Lancashire Fire and Rescue Authority and North West Fire and Rescue Forum made up of the fire authorities of Lancashire, Cumbria, Merseyside, Gt Manchester and Cheshire. At County Hall I have been given the position of chairman of the very important Internal Scrutiny Committee and Chief Whip”.
As we’ve remarked before, O’Toole is paid by the public for his numerous roles of “WLBC member/LCC member/Fire Service member/LCC Whip/Special responsibility member”. The least he owes us is any reason at all to think he is worth it.