Thursday, 26 November 2020

Town ‘needs handyman’ for maintenance work

A HANDYMAN could be employed by Henley Town Council.

A HANDYMAN could be employed by Henley Town Council.

The council is considering taking on responsibility for street repairs from Oxfordshire County Council.

Members believe this would reduce waiting times for potholes to be filled and signs to be cleaned.

The idea was suggested by Councillor David Eggleton.

Speaking at a meeting of the council’s town and community committee, he said: “We need one person to work with the parks team and with Oxfordshire County Council so we can do all the small jobs. We could fix loose slabs or bent lampposts rather than waiting for ages.”

Cllr Eggleton said he would be willing to personally find and supervise maintenance projects.

Mayor Lorraine Hillier said “Refurbishing benches, repainting street furniture — it would get it done rather than waiting months for if they [county council] have a budget for it.”

Councillor Dylan Thomas, who chaired the meeting, said he would like the commitee to be given updates on maintenance projects anyway.

He was also concerned about possible pitfalls. “A maintenance person could do small potholes in the road and temporary fixes but doesn’t this have to be done to a certain standard?” he said. “If people puncture a tyre they could sue us.”

Cllr Thomas also suggested there should be a business plan to support the idea.

Councillor Hillier said: “This person wouldn’t be out of work — there are always things to do. There are always cleaning jobs, washing street signs.”

Cllr Thomas responded: “It sounds like a dedicated town janitor.”

Councillor Will Hamilton, who chairs the finance management committee, said there was £3,000 set aside for projects but the incoming town clerk should examine the feasibility of a handyman.

Meanwhile, three companies are bidding to look after the flower beds and hanging baskets in Henley.

The current contract, held by Windowflowers of Burnham, runs out in June and the council sought six quotes which were narrowed town to three that will be asked to make a presentation.

The winning bidder will be responsible for seasonal planting in Market Place, the troughs outside the town hall and on Red Lion Lawn and the seasonal hanging baskets.

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