Q and A
The Town Council deals with a vast number of enquiries on a daily basis and this can be in the form of email, telephone calls or sometimes face to face. We will be compiling the most frequently asked questions with the response in the weeks ahead so that this can be used as a reference point for residents.
We hope that this will be useful and welcome any feedback or comments if you have further suggestions which we can consider for inclusion.
Q - Where do I report a Kent County Council problem or issue?
A - Kent County Council has an online portal where you can report a number of items including street light faults, potholes, drainage, traffic signal faults and overgrown vegetation.
The link to the page on the Kent County Council website is: https://www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/report-a-problem
The following are problems that Kent County Council do not manage -
Please contact your District Council for bus shelters, fly tipping, litter, parking or street cleaning. Highways England for motorways and major A road problems. Your community representative for junction improvements, new signs and lines, traffic calming or changes to speed limits. To report any emergency issues outside of normal office hours (Monday to Friday, 9am till 5pm), please telephone 03000 419191.
Q - How do I report a missed residential refuse bin?
A - You will need to register on the portal at Thanet District Council - this is the link - https://wasteservices.thanet.gov.uk/Identity/Account/Login?ReturnUrl=%2F You can also check your bin collection day and collection status on the portal. There are helpful FAQs on the TDC website.
Q - What is the role of Councillor Auditor?
A - In relation to the Councillor Auditor query from Full Council meeting – The appointment of a Councillor Auditor is part of our Internal Control processes for finance. The Statement of Internal Control agreed for this year confirms the processes adopted by Council. Section 2.2 of the Financial Regulations - 2.2. On a regular basis, at least once in each quarter, and at each financial year end, a member other than the Chairperson shall be appointed to verify bank reconciliations (for all accounts) produced by the RFO. The member shall sign the reconciliations and the original bank statements (or similar document) as evidence of verification. This activity shall on conclusion be reported, including any exceptions, to and noted by the Finance & General Purposes Committee and then reported to the Council.
Q - Why are there so many potholes?
A - Potholes are caused by a number of factors including the age of the road or footway surface, traffic usage, underlying geology, the construction of the road, previous openings and extremes of temperature and water ingress into the fabric of the surface, all of which can cause weakness and failure.
The current rash of potholes have their origins in the summer of 2022 that was extremely hot with record temperatures set. This produced ground shrinkage in many areas, causing water mains to leak. The extremely dry weather was followed by a very wet November with many instances of flooding across the county causing ground conditions to reach saturation point.
By the 11th December 2022 localised snow with icy conditions was forecast and there was actually significant snowfall across west and mid-Kent with temperatures as low as -7.8 C overnight. Highway surface temperatures barely rose above zero for many days. Temperatures rose again during the Christmas period but there was heavy, persistent rain that washed out material loosened from the road surface by the process of freezing and thawing.
During the period from the 11th December to the present time there have been over 9,000 reports of potholes. During the same period in in 2021/2022 the figure was 2,018 reports, so you can see how critically weather affects the condition of the road surface.
Q - What work are Kent County Council doing about the potholes?
A - All available resources are being devoted to the execution of repairs, including our Term Maintenance Contractors Amey, other contractors as necessary and members of our operational teams. Whenever we can we execute the right repairs first time, but occasionally the situation demands a temporary repair to avoid accidents or vehicle damage until the weather allows a permanent repair. Sometimes, because of weather conditions, temporary repairs are not very durable but this is unavoidable and the repairs are what they are – temporary. When undertaking permanent repairs we don’t “fill” potholes, but usually create a wider patch that will last.
The situation we have at the moment represents an extreme demand on the service and we are focussing resources on repairing the highest priority surface defects. In these circumstances routine enquiries will be attended to once the more serious and potentially dangerous defects have been repaired. It could be many weeks before the service returns to normal operation.
If you have been listening to or watching the media you’ll be aware that we are in the vanguard of research into new materials and machinery for repairing our highways effectively and economically. The future looks bright.