Find out which council is spending around £1,000 a day on a potholes consultant
In an email seen by the BBC, Shropshire Council’s boss said the appointment was part of a range of measures to speed up repairs of the county’s roads.
An external company is already undertaking Shropshire’s road maintenance in a £147m deal, but the same correspondence criticised their pothole repair.
The council said it was “comparable with usual consultant costs”.
In the email, council chief executive Clive Wright said the county currently had 3,500 reported highway defects.
Mr Wright also called current repair work “unproductive” and said there were examples of workers fixing one pothole but leaving one next to it.
Kier won a £147m contract to undertake the council’s highway maintenance in 2017.
But the Conservative-led authority has been letting the company “mark its own homework”, according to one councillor.
The consultant has been brought in on a six-month contract, working five days a week, in a bid to get a grip on road repairs and will cost the council £130,000.
Resident Ian Field, from Beckbury, who has documented 12 large potholes in his village, said repair work had been “inefficient”.
Eight of the 12 had been filled, he said, but in a “piecemeal way”.
“They have sent people out three times to the same stretch of road and they still haven’t finished them,” he added.
Steve Davenport, the council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said the consultant’s work was not just about fixing potholes and would help “save millions”.
“It will get the right people on the ground doing a better job,” he said.
“We were letting Kier mark their own homework, we have got to start doing that.”
A spokesperson for Kier said since it formally took up the contract in April 2018 it has fixed “65,000 defects”.
They added the company was “working through a programme of accelerated defect repairs… alongside a review of the contract to ensure it continues to drives the right outcomes for both Shropshire Council and Kier, and allows us to take a more innovative and sustainable approach to maintaining the network.”