Highways work on the agenda
MORE than 75 town and parish councils attended a special Devon Highways conference in Tiverton.
Devon County Council organised the event to focus on its highways service's work with towns and parishes, especially in the event of flooding and emergencies.
The conference covered issues as varied as winter maintenance, dealing with the impacts of flooding, and how Devon County Council manages the largest stock of bridges in the UK. It follows the success of a similar conference in 2010.
Town and parish councils were also updated on how the My Devon customer service centre plays an important part in dealing with reports from the public on highway maintenance issues such as defective road surface, flooding, and storm damage. Reports of safety defects and potholes are forwarded directly to the county's maintenance contractor. The centre dealt with more than 73,000 calls in 2012.
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Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for highways maintenance and flood prevention, said: "The aim of the day was to provide town and parish councils in Devon with an understanding of the work involved with the highway network, the variety of issues which can affect it and how we respond to them. Hopefully those who attended have gained a much clearer idea of what goes into managing the highway and the balances which have to be achieved to ensure we deliver a high quality service against extremely challenging budgets."