St Albans city centre enhancement 'a disappointment'

PUBLISHED: 20:01 02 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:08 06 May 2010

THE MULTI-million pound St Albans city-centre enhancement has been branded a disappointment to people living in, working in or just visiting. The claim was made by a district councillor during a discussion of how to resolve the ongoing problem of staining

THE MULTI-million pound St Albans city-centre enhancement has been branded a disappointment to people living in, working in or just visiting.

The claim was made by a district councillor during a discussion of how to resolve the ongoing problem of staining on the new paving stones in St Peter's Street.

The granite surface was laid in 2006 as part of the overall scheme but shortly after work was completed the slabs became badly stained and could not be cleaned.

The district council then held back the £100,000 contribution it had agreed to put towards the work -- which was carried out by Herts Highways -- because they were not satisfied with the outcome.

It is thought the staining is caused by the micro surface texture of the stone retaining liquids and the district council has been looking into ways to get them to stay clean.

Councillors are now considering spending more than £34,000 on cleaning the stone and sealing it to prevent any further staining.

They discussed the matter at Tuesday night's cabinet meeting and took the view that the cost of the work should be deducted from the outstanding £100,000 owed to Herts County Council (HCC).

But they delayed making a decision until July in order to await the findings of an Overview and Scrutiny Committee which is investigating the issue.

Cllr Mike Ellis, portfolio holder for the environment, said that the work had been a disappointment to everyone who lived, worked in or visited the city.

Cllr Aislinn Lee said she was very concerned about the pressure the district council had been receiving from the county to pay the contribution.

Council leader Robert Donald said the grant of £100,000 was not "unconditional" and that it was based on the project being completed in an environmentally acceptable and aesthetically pleasing way.

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