'Unscrupulous toerags' blamed for scourge of disappearing gulley covers across Havering


Elm Park ward Cllr Barry Mugglestone stands back from the missing drain cover. - Credit: Stephanie Nunn

Gulley covers are disappearing in droves across Havering, and each will cost £600 to replace.

Havering Council's cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Osman Dervish (Pettits, Con) said the borough has received around 50 reports of missing gulley covers over the last week.  

This number was released to the Recorder paper following reports of missing covers to the Elm Park Focus Team, consisting of Cllr Barry Mugglestone, Cllr Stephanie Nunn and team member Julie Wilkes.  

Cllr Nunn said: “As soon as we heard from residents who were reporting missing gulley covers in Cowdray and Petworth Way, we called Havering's out of hours team to alert them.  

“This is a very serious issue and danger to residents and cars. A slim adult or child could fall through the gaping hole and they now all need to be replaced at a cost.”  

Missing Gulley cover

A missing gulley cover in Petworth Way, Elm Park. - Credit: Stephanie Nunn

According to Cllr Dervish, there are around 25,000 road gullies to maintain across the borough.

He said: “We are looking to begin a programme of replacing missing gallery covers from the new year”.  

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In the meantime, he said the highways maintenance teams have been out to make the areas safe, while working to replace the covers as quickly as possible. 

But this will come at no small price, Cllr Dervish said: “It costs approximately £600 each time to carry out works and replace each cover.  

“This will include fitting new frames and grates that will help make them more difficult to remove, providing less of a risk of them being stolen.” 

Cllr Nunn said it’s "shocking” and “begs the questions of who’s taking them”. 

She said the Elm Park Focus Team wanted to “warn people to look out for these unscrupulous toerags, who are always looking for a big buck and not thinking about consequences to the council”.  

Cllr Dervish added: “While our highways maintenance crews are out checking on gulley covers as part of their daily works, we encourage residents to report any that are missing and we will look to make safe the area around them and replace them as soon as possible.”