Council asked to prove pothole cash will be spent of ‘good quality’ repairs
TAXPAYERS’ money is being wasted on “poor quality” road repairs according to one parish council which fears county chiefs are not “in control” of the pothole spending.
Frustrated Chalfont St Peter parish councillors say Bucks County Council (BCC) is “failing to fulfil its obligations” with road repairs as many damaged highways remain “unsafe”.
In a letter to BCC the parish council criticises county chiefs for relying on residents to report potholes online, stating “it is the responsibility of BCC to inspect the highway, not residents”.
Concerns were raised that people are putting themselves in danger by taking photos of potholes at busy junctions as they attempt to collect evidence to send to BCC.
The parish council added it finds it “bizarre” that BCC believes the roads are improving as “that is not the impression of most people”.
While it “welcomed” the announcement £20 million will be ploughed into Bucks’ deteriorating roads, the parish council has called for proof the money will be spent wisely on “good quality repairs.”
In May it was reported that BCC was alerted to a staggering 3,552 potholes in January this year - compared with 743 in December 2017 as harsh winter weather added to the growing number of potholes.
In a letter to leader of BCC, Martin Tett, the parish council said: “The parish council believes that the highways are in an unsafe condition and that BCC is not, therefore, fulfilling its obligations with respect to road repairs.
“The increase in reporting is believed to be in part the recurrence of previously repaired potholes which have been poorly filled and others which have been ignored until they have turned into a major breakup.”
However Cllr Tett hit back, stating problem is not exclusive to Bucks as councils across the country are facing “significant problems” when it comes to road repairs, adding it is nothing to do with “poor management”.
Responding to the parish council, he said: “Let me tackle head on the premise underpinning your view, namely there is no shortage of money, this is simply a matter of inefficient and incompetent management.
“If that were the case then it would apply to just about every county council and unitary authority in the country.”
Cllr Tett said the percentage of permanent and temporary repairs is closely monitored and around 60 to 70 per cent of potholes are now being permanently filled.
He added that BCC’s contract with service provider Ringway Jacobs includes “penalties” if repairs are “not up to standard”.
PHOTO: JOE GIDDENS/ PA WIRE