Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Why is the County Council dragging their feet over the Doxey Road bridge?

I was amazed to hear that sub-contractors work for Wrekin Construction had removed safety barriers from the recently rebuilt Doxey Road bridge because they were worried they would not be paid for their work as Wrekin had gone in administration a few days ago. Removing these barriers has not only made the bridge dangerous, but has also meant that both local residents and the hundreds of people travelling to Stafford from Haughton and Gnosall are once again inconvenienced by the temporary traffic lights that have now been installed.

While I sympathize with the firm in question, one is left wondering how the County Council allowed this situation to develop. If they have already paid Wrekin Construction for the work surely the barriers belong to the Council and the contractors had no right in taking them away. If this is case why has the Council not taken action to get then returned immediately?

On the other hand if the bill has not been paid the Council has the money to replace the missing barriers without delay! In either case I cannot understand why the Council is talking about putting temporary concrete barriers in place in the next few days and then reinstating permanent barriers ‘at some point after that’.

As a week as already passed since the original barriers were removed I must ask why the County Council are dragging their feet. If barriers like this are damaged on the motorway they are replaced in hours – not weeks, which will be the case in Doxey.

Leaving the bridge in this state is an absolute disgrace!


Stafford Hospital - Replace the Management Board

It’s difficult to come to terms with the appalling news about Stafford Hospital. Everyone knew that the report from the Healthcare Commission into the above average death rate at the hospital would be bad, but I’m sure no-one was prepared for what the finding were. Perhaps we should have realized that something was afoot when Toni Brisby the Chairman of the Trust and Martin Yates the Chief stepped down from their post a couple of weeks ago.

At the time all the local press reported that both had resigned from their post, but it has now emerged that in at least Mr. Yates case he had merely stood aside and was still on the hospital payroll and was receiving his full pay! What is interesting is that no one at the Hospital or indeed on the Board tried to put the record straight, instead everyone seemed to want to hide exactly what was happening. By taking this stance the two people who could answer the questions and criticisms about the hospitals failings effectively side stepped the issue and left other people to pick up the pieces.

In my mind this leaves yet another cloud over the current Hospital Board. First and foremost public confidence in the hospital has to be rebuilt and I’m concerned that with way the current board has acted over the past months this will be an impossible task. Perhaps the only way this can happen is for the whole of the management board to be replaced. With this in mind I do hope the Health Secretary Alan Johnson will see fit to remove the whole of the existing board and replace it with members in which the local community can once again have trust!

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