Every highway gully in the county is cleared annually, Northamptonshire Highways run a Northamptonshire Gully Schedule clear the 109, 634 gullies in the county. Gullies collect water which is then discharged into drains, ditches, watercourses or sewers.
Most of these are overseen and/or maintained by landowners, water companies, district councils and the Environment Agency.
Four teams are circling the county carrying out this essential gully cleaning work .
If you would like to report a blocked gully, you can contact our emergency gully clearance service through Street Doctor on 0300 126 1000 or Report a problem.
On behalf of Northamptonshire County Council, MGWSP is charged with emptying approximately 106,335 gullies throughout Northamptonshire. Three teams, of a gully vehicle and two operatives, carry out the service with a programme to empty around 110 gullies each, per day.
The monitoring of this work is achieved as all gullies visited are now plotted against coordinates utilising our hand held Tremble devices with GPS satellite attached. Ones visited prior to the Tremble devices are recorded on paper. The information gathered is transferred to a mapping layer which ensures we know exactly where our gullies are and are able to plan their maintenance in a more effective and efficient way in subsequent years. It is anticipated that by the end of year 2 gulley cycle, a complete inventory will be available with full grid references of every gully position.
The main element of the cleansing service is a planned programme under which all gullies are cleaned out once per year. In addition to this there is a responsive service whereby blocked gullies identified through the regular highway inspection process or reported by our other customers i.e. Councillors, public, etc are cleared outside the planned sequence. Such referrals require ad-hoc attendance across the County
The database of information collected has allowed the defects to be split by area and category and ensured that the defects can be tackled on an area basis. This approach will allow us to produce outline budgets for defect rectification purposes.
Together, with colleagues in the four areas and Cyclical Maintenance, we are collecting information from referrals of damaged gullies and feedback on the status of repairs for re-inclusion in the programme. This approach will, again, ensure that resources are efficiently utilised and costs managed closely.
The objectives of the 2009/2010 gully cleansing operations is to continue to consolidate the data collected in 2008/2009 and establish the gully siltation level 12 months after the initial clean. Obtaining these year on year records will allow cyclical maintenance programmes to be developed to give best value to the Northamptonshire community. “Hotspots” can be identified for further investigation and action.
MGWSP has taken progressive steps in addressing any failures in service delivery regarding gully cleansing, although, as is apparent from this report, issues regarding the repair of defective gullies are difficult and require more attention and resources.
However, through more effective monitoring of the service the gully service will be improved with a comprehensive inventory allowing speedier and more methodical rectification of problems
Providing an efficient, effective, and economical service, both in terms of gully maintenance and cleansing is of primary concern to MGWSP. Detailed programming and stronger working relationships and communication avenues will provide Northamptonshire residents with an unparalleled level of service. It will also fulfil our obligations to Northamptonshire County Council and all our customers to manage and improve the service, leaving behind the problems that have, historically, meant gully cleansing fell short of the standards needed and expected.
It is felt that, through the current investigation of the gully service and by implementing the corrective action documented in this report, that the service will meet and exceed the specification and quality standards required.