New Harewood councillor calls for 'speedy repair' on Linton Bridge

Councillor Ryan Stephenson, the new Conservative councillor for Harewood
Councillor Ryan Stephenson, the new Conservative councillor for Harewood
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A new Conservative councillor for Harewood has spent his first week on Leeds City Council (LCC) raising constituents' concerns over delayed repair work on Linton Bridge.

Councillor Ryan Stephenson, has questioned why approval for repairs wasn't included on the LCC executive board agenda in April – four months after winter storms left Linton Bridge unusable.

Linton Bridge has been closed since the winter storms due to significant structural damage.

Linton Bridge has been closed since the winter storms due to significant structural damage.

At a community meeting organised by Coun Matthew Robinson last month, LCC’s city development officers told residents repair works were expected to be complete by summer 2017.

But Coun Stephenson said that since then residents have heard little progress and has called for the repairs to be delivered as soon as possible.

He said: “In April, Councillor Robinson arranged for officers of the council to attend the Collingham parish meeting and explain the complex engineering repairs required on the bridge.

"Since then, residents have heard very little. Today I’m calling on the council to ensure that an early completion date is included in the scoring mechanism when the contract is tendered in coming weeks”.

“Residents are right to be mindful of further delays so the tendering process is a good opportunity for the council to show its commitment to a speedy repair.

"When considering bids from private contractors the council usually considers cost, health and safety records, and the standard of previous projects. I believe priority should also be given to companies that are able to start work on site straight away to avoid further delay”.

In March, MP for Elmet, Rothwell and Wetherby, Alec Shelbrooke, secured £4 million of Government funding for repairs to infrastructure in Leeds.

But residents are still waiting for the executive board to approve specific funding for planned repairs.

A report recommending funds for the repair of Linton Bridge is now expected to go before the LCC executive board for consideration on June 22.