Full council agrees to set aside £40k to fix Dacorum’s street signs but bid to increase cash for parking space is voted down


A proposal for more council cash to be set aside for a blitz on refurbishing worn out street signs was approved but extra spending to ease parking woes will have to wait.

Councillors voted to plough £40,000 into sprucing up road plaques but a bid to splash out an extra £100,000 on verge hardening schemes on top of £200,000 already earmarked was blocked.

Dacorum’s Liberal Democratic politicians put forward the case for extra spending at last night’s full council meeting when the budget for 2014/15 was set.

Councillor Denise Rance told the Dacorum Borough Council meeting: “You go past the ‘Welcome to Dacorum’ signs and you are faced with faded, broken or missing street signs so we put this amendment forward to improve the towns and villages of Dacorum.”

The council usually sets aside up to £25,000 for replacing run down street signs and it is hoped that the funding boost will mean that reported faults get fixed more quickly.

Councillor Lloyd Harris said: “When people report then you know they are going to get fixed.

“It is commonly known that a better a place looks, the happier people feel and the less likely it is that people will graffiti or litter. It is only a small thing but it is better than nothing.”

The borough council has a standard format for street signs which includes the borough logo and green writing. For conservation areas there is a more subtle black and white version.

Lib Dems were unable to persuade councillors to plough an extra £100,000 into the funds already set aside for verge hardening to create additional parking.

Mr Harris said: “That was rather disappointing.

“There is a long list of streets that the council, officers and members of the public have put forward.”

It costs between £10,000 and £20,000 for each project and the cash boost would have allowed for up to an additional 10 streets to enjoy extra parking space.

During 2013/14, £350,000 was spent on grass verge hardening.

Mr Harris said: “There have been several places, mainly in Hemel Hempstead, where this has already been done and the residents are very happy.”

It is proposed that £300,000 will be set aside for verge hardening in 2015/16 and, when this future budget comes up for discussion, the Lib Dems hope to persuade councillors to boost this to £400,000. “They implied it might be a possibility,” said Mr Lloyd.