Sutton Primary School starts term with half a 'School' sign

This Is Local London: 'Jobsworths' leave half a sign painted after row about payment 'Jobsworths' leave half a sign painted after row about payment

Concerns over the cost of paint left only half a roadmarking repainted outside a school.

Contractors carrying out repairs to water mains outside Victor Seymour Primary School in Denmark Road dug up part of the road which had on it lettering to indicate there was a school nearby.

When work was completed last week and the section of road was replaced, Sutton and East Surrey Water (SESW), which carried out the work, painted only half of the word school back onto the road.

The company said it is only obliged to repaint what it had damaged, and as the highways authority ,Sutton Council, was refusing to pay them to paint the rest of the sign, it decided not to.

A SESW spokesman said: "SESW understands the road markings look odd but the company is conforming to the requirements of regulations that govern road works of this nature."

Residents of Denmark Road think it is ridiculous and have accused the contractors of being "jobsworths".

Pennie James, 63, who not only lives on the street, but has grandchildren who will attend the school next week, said it was outrageous.

She said: "When I first saw it I just laughed, I couldn't believe it, I just thought what a bunch of jobsworths. If they had the equipment with them, why did they not just finish it?"

The SESW spokesman added: "We are obliged to reinstate road markings removed or damaged by our work and this is what we have done. Before doing so, we asked the local authority if they would like us to also repaint the markings beyond our area of work - for a small fee - but they declined.

Replacing road markings is quite expensive and, as our customers will appreciate, we are doing all we can to manage costs during difficult economic times."

A council spokesman said: "We are in the process of organising remedial work on the word ‘school’ and other road markings outside the school."

Comments (6)

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4:34pm Fri 7 Sep 12

Paul Scully says...

What SESW will learn the hard way is that they'll spend more money in the comms department fighting this story than they would have done on the paint job. SESW have a whole corporate social responsibility section on their website boasting about their work for communities. That work is undone pretty quickly when jobsworths grab hold of things.
What SESW will learn the hard way is that they'll spend more money in the comms department fighting this story than they would have done on the paint job. SESW have a whole corporate social responsibility section on their website boasting about their work for communities. That work is undone pretty quickly when jobsworths grab hold of things. Paul Scully

8:32pm Fri 7 Sep 12

PeterM says...

It's unfair to blame SESW for only painting half the sign, blame the regulations that just require utility companies to repair the damage that they cause.

We had the same happen outside our offices in Croydon when Thames Water replaced a water main. They repainted only half of a turn left sign. The really jobsworth part was the car park it was for no longer existed and that the half painted sign was in front of a brick wall.

Get the regulations changed and stop poking fun at the utility companies.
It's unfair to blame SESW for only painting half the sign, blame the regulations that just require utility companies to repair the damage that they cause. We had the same happen outside our offices in Croydon when Thames Water replaced a water main. They repainted only half of a turn left sign. The really jobsworth part was the car park it was for no longer existed and that the half painted sign was in front of a brick wall. Get the regulations changed and stop poking fun at the utility companies. PeterM

8:10am Sat 8 Sep 12

Paul Scully says...

PeterM but the point of the regulation is that it is the bare minimum that has to be done. The utility company has adhered to this rather than going that bit extra. Essentially the workmen have just handed the responsibility of the extra labour to their communications department who are having to spend even more time dealing with it. That's about good business.

Yes, the regulation needs to be clarified to include the collateral damage of the works but SESW could have shown a bit more forethought in their actions. Work on utilities needs to be planned better, something which should improve with the new lane rental scheme that Boris introduced.
PeterM but the point of the regulation is that it is the bare minimum that has to be done. The utility company has adhered to this rather than going that bit extra. Essentially the workmen have just handed the responsibility of the extra labour to their communications department who are having to spend even more time dealing with it. That's about good business. Yes, the regulation needs to be clarified to include the collateral damage of the works but SESW could have shown a bit more forethought in their actions. Work on utilities needs to be planned better, something which should improve with the new lane rental scheme that Boris introduced. Paul Scully

10:13am Sat 8 Sep 12

Green Bin says...

This reallydoes show how ridiculous things have become, it woulld have probably cost no more in time or money to do the job properly...but no some petty minded idiot decided there was a bit of money to be made, essentially at the taxpayers expense,the cost of invoicing and payment alone would have doubled the cost. A failure of commonsense and decency (after all the end result of their efforts is a distorted marking) , and a victory for the Utilities... some one needs to look at these guys properly, I deal with them every day and they are money-grabbing, unaccountable and often dis-organised. We shouldn't really need additional regulation to address matters like this
This reallydoes show how ridiculous things have become, it woulld have probably cost no more in time or money to do the job properly...but no some petty minded idiot decided there was a bit of money to be made, essentially at the taxpayers expense,the cost of invoicing and payment alone would have doubled the cost. A failure of commonsense and decency (after all the end result of their efforts is a distorted marking) , and a victory for the Utilities... some one needs to look at these guys properly, I deal with them every day and they are money-grabbing, unaccountable and often dis-organised. We shouldn't really need additional regulation to address matters like this Green Bin

4:18pm Sat 8 Sep 12

Michael Pantlin says...

If the trench had gone the other way could we have finished up with a "cool" marking. Anyway the government may change it to an academy or "free school" next week and the paint pot will be out again.
If the trench had gone the other way could we have finished up with a "cool" marking. Anyway the government may change it to an academy or "free school" next week and the paint pot will be out again. Michael Pantlin

4:45am Sun 9 Sep 12

Dennis R says...

Only in Formerly Great Britain. . . .
Only in Formerly Great Britain. . . . Dennis R

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