Prescott: I told council work outside my house shouldn't be a priority
JOHN Prescott has revealed he told council staff not to carry out work outside his east Hull house as he did not think it was a priority.
The Mail has taken calls from people angry that Hull City Council has carried out footpath and resurfacing work outside the former Hull East MP's home, off Saltshouse Road, when the city's roads are decimated by potholes.
Lord Prescott insists he asked the workmen not to do it but was told the pavement repairs were essential.
He said: "A notice was served about the proposed works but I urged them that, with the public service cuts, it shouldn't be a priority.
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"But I have been told the pavement wasn't laid properly and the council needs to lay kerb stones.
"This isn't about potholes but about the path, which serves around ten houses.
"The cul-de-sac is also a popular cut-through for people to get to the village and for students."
But those living nearby do not feel the council has got its priorities right.
Sutton resident John Atkinson believes there are areas in a more dilapidated condition.
He said: "There are much worse potholes down Howdale Road.
"The only people benefiting from this are John Prescott and his neighbours.
"The road is almost private, providing shared access to just three large properties belonging to wealthy people. The pavement is bad, but there are worse places just down the road.
"How can Hull City Council justify such a big spend when there are so many dangerous potholes in areas with far more traffic?"
Mr Atkinson believes the council should be more flexible and change its priorities if surfaces are damaged by the winter weather.
He said: "It's a great shame they have not reviewed their priorities in light of recent frost damage.
"My guess is they are spending £25,000 to £30,000 on this one job alone.
"I think the council reasons students from Wilberforce College use this section to walk to the college.
"That maybe so, but the road is only used by the three or four homes."
The council argued the footpath was in a dangerous condition for pedestrians and, with the low cost, felt it needed to be undertaken in the 2012-13 capital programme.
Andy Burton, city streetscene manager, insists there was no favouritism and the decision was based only on the need to repair the pathway.
He said: "Engineers identified the area as in need of repair and recommended the improvement works to be carried out due to the condition of the footpath.
"The decision was based purely on an engineering assessment.
"Hull City Council carries out scheduled monthly highway inspections to monitor the condition of our roads across the city, in addition to the reports from the public.
"Our highways inspectors report the necessary works and raise the relevant repairs to the appropriate utility company or our own highways team."