W ALBERT SMITH, of Exeter Street, Teignmouth, writes:

The shocking arrogance and appalling level of service now available from our local authorities and privatised monopolies has been demonstrated on social media within a few square metres at Teignmouth. 

Gully pots at the highest point of Lower Brimley Road are full of detritus with weeds growing out of them, causing surface water to race down the hill to the bottom. Devon County Council, as Highway Authority, deployed prevarication and obfuscation in responding to the matter of highway drainage and their statutory responsibility to maintain it. 

I had to press and press, and as an ex-highway engineer, I challenged the nonsense I was being told in an attempt by the County Council to absolve themselves from having to do anything physically. How could a member of the public persist or challenge that does not have a highways background and the answer is they should not have to.

The County Council say they plan to clear the gullies with the help of a temporary parking restriction; we await to see. Only several metres away from this drain problem, just round the corner, a leak from a South West Water Boundary Box (what used to be called a stop tap) is running at the bottom of Barnpark Road. This leak was reported at the beginning of February, and as I write, it is still running, a period of some two months.

The rank hypocrisy of this privatised monopoly seems to know no bounds; they come on the broadcast media and tell us there is a water supply shortage and crisis together with banning hosepipes but let water run from their own leaks! 

They have the audacity to place the onus on us, their paying customers, to ‘save water – every drop’. Does it not occur to or bother South West Water that while they run a company that has such an apparent dilatory and derelict approach where it is content to let leaks run for months they will lack water resources and their operating costs (that we end up paying for) will increase? 

When one factors SWW’s performance concerning Barnpark Road and applies it to the whole of SWW’s operating area and assets, the real crisis is poor management. 

So what of ‘the Regulator’ OFWAT? They have been informed of these matters, and yet they remain silent, a supine and clueless quango that is of no use to the customer. Where are the politicians? They should be all over this but it seems not, QED poor performance also applies in the elected representative quarter?