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Local authorities to foot the bill for Devon County Council's mistake

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: September 13, 2012

  • NEWLY SURFACED:: The new road surface at the bottom of Fore Street, Ilfracombe. Picture: Mike Southon. To order this photograph call 0844 4060 269 and quote Ref: BNMS20110626B-006_C

  • RUSHED JOB: The resurfaced area. Picture: Mike Southon. To order this photograph call 0844 4060 269 and quote Ref: BNMS20110626B-002_C

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LOCAL councils are expected to stump up more than £50,000 to correct a bodged road resurfacing job in Ilfracombe.

The bottom of Fore Street was resurfaced by Devon County Council last year.

But the job was done in such a rush that the road remains in need of extra work.

In 2011 the Joint Delivery Team, together with Devon County Council, undertook a project to enhance the road surface at the junction between Fore Street and Broad Street.

The road was resurfaced in a buff coloured material, the kerbs were dropped and granite edging and floor lights were added. But DCC contractors completed the job in a rush to meet the deadline for the visit of the Earl of Wessex in April last year, leaving the road in a less than desirable state.

Problems include poor surface coverage, patchy areas and sinking lights.

The surface has also been stained and tarnished with dog mess and chewing gum.

North Devon Council's executive committee was asked last week to contribute £30,000 towards the resurfacing of the road. The total cost will be around £110,000.

DCC will contribute £45,000 to the project, while Ilfracombe county councillor Geoff Fowler will use £14,000 of his Investing In Devon budget to make the total up to £59,000.

But because NDC believes the responsibility of the resurfacing should fall to DCC due to their faults in the original work, they are only prepared to contribute £30,000 to the project. Ilfracombe Town Council has agreed to meet the remaining cost of up to £21,000.

The road will be resurfaced in a light brown brick material called Tegula which Ilfracombe Town Council believes will provide a better quality finish and could be replicated in other areas of the town.

Devon County Council spokesman Mike Bomford said: "The county council undertook some resurfacing after first agreeing the material to be used with North Devon Council and Ilfracombe Town Council.

"The work done was not satisfactory and we would usually instruct our contractor to do the work again at their expense. However on this occasion, the town council requested that the material specification change, to a more attractive and more expensive paving finish as opposed to the finish first agreed.

"We have agreed to contribute £59,000 to the revised scheme, but it will be up to others to find the remainder."

The Executive will now take the matter to the next full council meeting where it will be recommended that NDC agree to fund £30,000 towards the resurfacing. It is not yet clear when the work will start.

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