Cheshire East Council’s roads chief defends potholes approach
The councillor responsible for Cheshire East’s highways has again defended the council’s approach to potholes after members insisted that roads keep on breaking up.
Cllr Sam Corcoran, leader of Cheshire East Council’s Labour group, told councillors he welcomes the additional £4.6 million recently given to the local authority by the Government to use on road repairs.
But he questioned evidence the council is using in its ‘evidence-led asset management’ approach to repairs – and he suggested that poor quality repairs are wasting taxpayers’ money.
He told Thursday’s full council meeting: “I do wonder where the evidence is coming from? Is it coming from the three wise monkeys who see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil?
“The evidence of my eyes tells me that the quality of pothole repairs has been appalling and money has been wasted – hugely – over the last three years in the way we have spent money.
“I support ‘evidence-led’ – who wouldn’t? But it has to be based on proper evidence and I would like to see that evidence published so we can see where the money is spent.
“If you go to the end of Platt Avenue [in Sandbach], there is a pothole that was repaired two weeks ago. That repair is already breaking up.”
The Sandbach councillor was then supported by Cllr Nick Mannion, Labour, who invited Cllr Don Stockton, cabinet member for environment, to look at the state of roads in his Macclesfield ward.
But the invitation was turned down by Conservative Cllr Stockton – who insisted he gets the right evidence from the council’s highways engineers.
The Lacey Green councillor said: “I am a chartered engineer. If I come out and look at your road, I can see the potholes, I can see the state of that particular road.
“But I am not qualified to tell you exactly what should be done on that road in terms of surface patching or otherwise for a well-managed highway.
“You need to take into account the amount of traffic that uses it, the underlay of the road, the surface dressing, the length of time that will last, whether you are spending that money effectively.
“That is something that I rely upon our highways team to look at and propose and bring forward.”
Cllr Stockton also defended the council’s approach to potholes at the last full council meeting in December.