Silverhill’s councillor Margi O’Callaghan is on the warpath over the state of roads, pavements and road markings in her ward.
“It’s disgraceful,” says Margi, “I honestly believe Hastings is suffering from lack of spending on its roads because we have a Labour controlled borough council and our Conservative controlled County Council doesn’t like that.”
The Zebra Crossing on Sedlescombe Road North is in urgent need of repainting.
Margi has dozens of photographs on her phone showing cracked and broken pavements, potholes and a zebra crossing on the main road where you can barely see the markings any more. She reports these matter to East Sussex County Council but little seems to get done.
“What really frustrates me is when the workmen do turn up to repair a pothole they will repair one pothole and then completely ignore others that are just a few inches from the one they have filled in… why can’t they do them all?”
Margi has been one of the Hastings Borough Councillors representing Silverhill since May 2018. She is committed to the community she serves and says she has recently given up her job to be able to dedicate more time to representing the people in the ward.
Just a few of the potholes in Burry Road
But being a councillor isn’t easy and she says she can find it frustrating when seemingly simple and straightforward things can take a long time resolve. And some of what needs fixing amounts to public safety concerns, she says.
She knows of one elderly woman who fell on Burry Road and sustained some nasty injuries as a result of a broken pavement. Margi says the streets all round that area; Alma Villas, Alma Terrace, Duke Road and Silverlands Road all urgently need attention.
“So many of the issues we face in Silverhill are all roads related. Probably about 75 per cent of all the complaints I receive are about roads and pavements,” she says.
But roads are not part of Margi’s remit, they are a county council issue and Margi says she hopes to be able to arrange a meting between herself, Nigel Sinden – the other Labour councillor who represents Silverhill on HBC – and Martin Clarke the Conservative county councillor whose ward includes Silverhill. Margi hopes that by working together they might be able to make a breakthrough.
An East Sussex Highways spokesman said: “We carry out regular safety inspections on all our roads at least once a year, to assess the condition of the road and see if it meets the criteria for repairs.
“Sometimes a road may be in a generally poor condition as well as having potholes, in which case the highways steward would recommend more extensive work such as patching or surface dressing to extend the life of the road and prevent the need for repeat visits.
“People can report potholes and other road defects to us online.”