Council house tenants in Stoke-on-Trent are concerned about the council’s new rules for fixing broken fence panels.
The new changes mean that broken fence panels will only be repaired or replaced under specific circumstances. To qualify for a repair the damaged fence must be dangerous, border to a playing field, garage or footpath, or be next to a drop of at least two feet. The policy has attracted criticism from tenants who believe that the council have not considered the elderly tenants and children’s safety when forming the plans.
The council will not reveal how much they spend repairing fences but Councillor Gwen Hassall, cabinet member for housing and neighbourhoods, said that all fencing decisions are made by Kier Stoke workers or the council’s own Property Investment Team, based on these three specific criteria. They will only undertake repairs that are necessary, proportionate and if there is a legal requirement to make the repair.
Chell Heath Residents Association Chairman, Jim Gibson, is asking the council to have some common sense and believes that the rules shouldn’t be so black and white. Whilst the Resident Association Chairman for Bentillee, Alan Joinson, said that this is the sort of thing that should be covered with people’s council tax. He calls the broken fences an eyesore and believes child safety will be resident’s biggest concern.
The council recently conducted a consultation with residents about the way they deal with potential issues and received positive feedback. They will take the responses into account and the cabinet will make recommendations for potential changes to the policy later this month.