Stogursey Lengthsman scheme a success6 May 2011
Stogursey residents have given the thumbs up to the Lengthsman pilot scheme operated in the parish by EDF Energy since January this year.
Stogursey Parish Council Lengthsman co-ordinator Cllr Chris Morgan works closely with EDF Energy in identifying specific or emergency works to improve the area, such as clearing blocked drains, removing fallen trees and maintaining footpaths. Local residents have also approached Lengthsman Phil Venning with suggestions for improvements to the local area. Phil, employed by Cannington company, Greenslades Grounds Maintenance, contracted by EDF Energy to manage the work, lives in Bridgwater.
Over the winter months, Phil worked hard locating and clearing blocked drainage channels and drains, some of which had not been uncovered for many years. His work has had a dramatic effect in alleviating flooding issues, with a number of flood prone roads seeing a reduction of incidents.
The work of the Lengthsman varies throughout the year and as the seasonal pattern of work begins altering towards Summer, Phil will shift his focus to tasks such as grass cutting, highway sign maintenance and the upkeep of the footpath network in collaboration with the County Council and Parish Council. Throughout this time the regular tasks such as litter picking will continue in addition to tasks suggested by local residents.
Chris Morgan said: "Phil's approachability and willingness to assist has already made him a welcome face in the villages and hamlets within the scheme area. Many residents have commented to me how nice it is to have someone available to tackle these seemingly small issues that make a real difference to the area."
Phil Venning added: "I'm enjoying the great variety of my work across Stogursey, Shurton, Burton, Knighton and Wick and it's pleasing to know that people really appreciate what I'm doing."
David Eccles, head of EDF Energy's Bridgwater office, said: “Along with the 12,000 trees and shrubs planted recently to screen the site, I think that these are early examples of us demonstrating that we want to be a good neighbour to the people who live closest to the potential development."
The scheme also makes use of cutting edge battery powered tools, reducing emissions, noise and disturbance in the work area. Further sustainability measures are also in the pipeline in line with EDF Energy's commitment to a sustainable future.