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January 16, 2008 5:18 PM
By Piers Meyler in Brentwood Gazette
Potholes in Brentwood

Potholes less than 5cm deep will not be repaired

Deep potholes could appear in Brentwood's roads under controversial cost-cutting proposals.The plans - likely to be introduced on April 1 - mean only urgent repairs will be carried out when road maintenance funds run out.

Potholes less than 5cm deep will not be repaired at all - double the current limit of 2.5cm - if the proposals are given the go-ahead by county councillors at a meeting tomorrow (Thursday).

Brentwood borough councillor David Kendall said: "Brentwood residents already get a raw deal from the county council when it comes to spending on local roads and footpaths - and this news is likely to make the situation even worse.

"The county council gets a lot of council tax money from our residents but we are failing to get much back in return, particularly in areas like highways and public transport.

"It is time the county got their finances in order and gave Brentwood residents the quality services they deserve."

Cllr Paul Sztumpf, Labour's highways and transportation spokesman, said: "Doubling of the pothole depth is simply not acceptable, but we cannot stop these plans on our own.

"The Tories intend to implement these changes on April Fools Day - but it is no laughing matter for the Essex public."

Dave Porter, of Herongate Cycles in Heron Chase, said the cost to repair minor defects could snowball if potholes are left to deteriorate.

He said: "If they are not repaired a two inch pothole can very rapidly become a five or six inch pothole, and that it is a problem."

Essex County Council's cabinet member for highways and transportation, Cllr Norman Hume, said: "This change would bring us into line with other authorities where only potholes which risk endangering the highway user are identified for urgent repair, within two hours or by the end of the next working day, as opposed to the current policy which doesn't allow us to prioritise such work."