Thursday, 21 January 2010

When will they ever learn?

So at last someone in authority(I use that word loosely) has spotted the fact that Marefair and Gold Street,recently 'regenerated' and around six million pounds is not all it was cracked up to be!

As a matter of fact parts of the surface, the aesthetically beautiful granite bits,are cracking up.
We are told that it will cost aover a quarter million pounds to put the surface right, and the replacement will be aesthetically beautiful ashphalt.

And all after six months.

Yet whilst the work was going on the guys who were working on the job were telling local shopkeepers that the material being used was not suitable for the task(once again something not fit for purpose) and that the contractors had told the clients this right from the start.

The clients of course being NCC, NBC and WNDC.Remember ooh all those six months ago the proud notices proclaiming the scheme.In fact I think there is still one up on Black Lion Hill, and remember the fun and frolics in the rain when the project was opened.
How proud our Councillors were that day.How they wallowed in the public adulation.Well they had the little matter of cleaning and sealing the new pavements-but the mighty portfolio holder for Regeneration-Richard Church ensured that everything was neat and clean.
Nothing to rain on his parade that day!
But six months on, the pavements now have an interesting patina of used chewing gum once again, and where there once was uneaven clumps of nasty ashphalt there now are'uneaven clumps of nasty ashphalt'.
One thing you can be sure of in Northampton, whether its the Borough or the County, when everything changes sadly nothing changes!

Now we will see endless buck passing and the contractors and their workforce will take the bulk of the blame.But there is ample evidence that they made it clear that the materials would not do the job, but aesthetics prevailed over common sense.
In the end the contractors did what they were told, in the end the customer is always right.
Now the cusromer was the local authorities and the WNDC.I suspect they had endless meetings and consultations, site visits with Councillors in their pretty hard hats, and lots of press calls and photo opportunities.
It is likely that some junior planning officer relayed the contractors concerns-but of couurse image is everything these days-and regeneration needs a bright shiny image of modernity.
So who will take responsibility? Will it be the contractors? The Council officials? Or the elected members who oversaw the project and took the praise six months ago?

What's the betting that the final blame will lie with some poor sod in a quarry somewhere in Aberdeenshire whose never heard of bloody Northampton!