Saffron Walden 'firmly on the radar' of ECC decision makers

Road repairs carried out by Essex Highways in Saffron Walden High Street, George Street and Hill Street are now complete.

And that, says Saffron Walden county councillor John Moran, “follows Ashdon Road works finishing two months ahead of schedule.

At last some positive news for local residents who have seen the maintenance of key intersections around the town neglected.

“Highways is the area of county council business which generates the most contact from the public.

“I find my inbox full of highways issues and it dominates my working week. 

“Progress is sometimes slow and I will continue to keep up the pressure [where appropriate] on Chelmsford to do better and to ensure that Saffron Walden division is firmly in the minds of the decision makers at county level.

“To that end I am obliged to all who contact me regarding such matters and the local elected representatives from other tiers of governance who keep me on my toes.”

Since Cllr Moran’s election in May 2017 steps have been taken to ensure that Saffron Walden is firmly on the radar of the decision makers at Essex County Council in Chelmsford. Change is being brought about by the reestablishment of meetings involving all tiers of local government, including the regular attendance of Cllr Moran at Parish and Town Council meetings. County-wide highways matters are managed through his direct contact with Chelmsford, passing on the opinions of members of the public and businesses, requests and comments from Parish, Town and District Councils. Some lower budget works are resolved via the Local Highways Panel on which Saffron Walden is ably represented  by the vice chairman Cllr Moran alongside Town and District councillors.

Said Cllr Moran: “This newly instigated more joined-up approach to getting our highways issues resolved includes Saffron Walden Division’s elected representatives attending highways surgeries with cabinet member Cllr Ian Grundy to discuss the key issues which matter locally and to resolve blockages to required works.

“There are only four available slots at each surgery for the all of the 75 county wide divisions, and of the seven surgeries held by Cllr Grundy since May Saffron Walden has been represented at four with another scheduled for this month, making this division by far the most represented division at these key meetings.

“My role as county councillor is to listen to the public, local businesses and local representatives and then to challenge the decision makers at Chelmsford to provide the best possible level of service to the people of this division.

“I also serve on ECC’s corporate scrutiny committee which  has responsibility to hold the Cabinet to account in regard to a range of county council business areas, including highways.

“I am well placed to both challenge, give praise where it is due and to drive through change.”

■ The next major roadworks in the area will be in Wendens Ambo.