Cash to fix Essex potholes not being dished out farily, say councillors

CASH to fix pothole-filled roads isn’t being dished out fairly, according to some councillors.

Figures released for the last three years show Rochford received £920,000 for the last three years whereas Colchester received £3,230,000.

The size and population of Colchester is roughly double that of Rochford but in the last three years it has had about three and a half times more money spent on repairing potholes.

Chris Black, Lib Dem Rochford District councillor, said he and fellow councillors asked for Grange Gardens in Rayleigh to be added to the repair list as it is particularly bad.

He said: "Despite all the complaints from ward councillors and the public the county have slipped way way behind with fixing our roads, especially in Rochford. Things have got to a ridiculously bad situation.

“I don’t think the money is distributed fairly.”

The figures were released under the Freedom of Information Act after a request by Lib Dem Brentwood county councillor David Kendall.

Essex County Council is spending another £11million on road repairs this year.

Since August, when the money was released, 30,846 potholes have been repaired.

Keith Hudson, Rochford District councillor responsible for planning, said he would be keeping a close eye on the work but said without comparing the state of roads across different areas it was hard to determine if the money was being spent fairly.

He added: “On the face of it it looks very much like we are the Cinderella but without studying the details it is very hard to make a judgement.”
A spokesman for Essex County Council said it surveys areas every year to find out where the roads are the worst.

He said: “Essex County Council takes a great amount of time and effort to ensure that Highways maintenance budgets are distributed fairly across the county. It would be unfair to suggest that certain parts of the county are favoured over others, and we will always seek to make funding available for areas that require it most.

“These figures are also not accurate as they do not take into account our total maintenance highways budget, which is around £25m. This figure has been supplemented this year by our additional £11m investment to repair potholes.”

To report a pothole or find out where repairs are being made, go to essex.gov.uk/highways.
 

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