Pothole proposal gathering momentum

AN innovative new idea to transfer the management of pothole repairs from county council to district level has received backing from residents in Uttlesford.

Last week, the Reporter exclusively revealed Uttlesford District Council’s plans to discuss subcontracting the responsibility from the county council.

And now it seems foundations for the proposal could be laid in the coming weeks.

A spokesman from Essex County Council (ECC) confirmed the authority had been approached regarding the issue and that a meeting would be held to discuss the proposal.

Reporter readers had no qualms with the district council’s plans and county councillor for Saffron Walden Robert Chambers said he was delighted to hear a number were in favour of looking into the idea.

“The next stage is for us to have a meeting with ECC within the next month and try to progress it from there,” he told the Reporter.

“It is not something which is normally done so we have to make sure we get it right. This is new ground and everybody is looking at it carefully.”

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If the idea came to fruition, Cllr Chambers said he could see the district council having a small team of people who would be able to go round and mend potholes in the district.

However, he stressed that the responsibility to fix potholes on A and B roads would remain with the county council.

Although Cllr Chambers added that nothing was set in stone, he said his vision was for the district council to be subcontractors for Ringway Jacobs Limited – the contractor responsible for delivering the majority of highways and transportation services across the county.

ECC recently agreed an estimated �1bn contract with the firm and the 10-year partnership began on April 1.

Cllr Chambers said that following discussions with ECC, the district council would have to work out what it would cost to carry out the repairs each year.

“There would likely be negotiations with Ringway Jacobs to see whether we could have a grant from them, as they would not be repairing potholes on minor roads in our district,” he added.