I AM writing in response to the recent article from Chris Green MP.

Highways has experienced high volumes of reports regarding potholes during November, December and January.

The winter months between November and February are annually always particular challenging and are caused by the action of rainwater freezing in cracks in the road surface which then cause potholes to appear in the highways.

Mr Green states that more than a third of the most complained about roads are in Bolton West, when, theoretically, it should be a third per each of the three constituencies!

He then suggests it follows that the most complained about roads must therefore be the roads in worst condition.

Some of the roads being referred to in the article are the longer ones in the borough so, statistically, you would expect there to be more reports about them.

Also, most reports on any road are picked up by our own inspections and not by public contacts.

This demonstrates our pro-active approach to tackling the deterioration of the network.

His logic goes on to say that the council is prioritising Labour wards and constituencies, whilst failing to take action in Conservative Bolton West.

Our Highways team produces a priority list of roads schemes for the whole borough which require action. Unfortunately, the list always outstrips the available funding for this purpose.

How politically naive and ill-informed is he to make this assertion.

It ignores that the fact that nine out of the 18 councillors in Bolton West are Labour (50 per cent), and only six are Tory.

The council has a robust inspection regime and potholes are assessed against nationally agree Department for Transport guidelines and prioritised accordingly with urgent repairs (where appropriate) within 24 hours.

I get very frustrated and annoyed when the integrity of our hard working and conscientious employees are brought into disrepute in such an unscrupulous manner.

The actions of the council are always open to scrutiny by opposition councillors.

Mr Green’s comments clearly call into question his opinions and the credibility and integrity of his own Tory councillors in this very important role.

During the last municipal year, we had a pothole budget of about £850,000. A at year end we had spent £1,264,000 as well as further planned revenue and capital investment.

We didn’t overspend budgets, but it does mean we have to carefully manage priorities to ensure the urgent repair work is carried out.

The funding provided by this Government is woefully inadequate to meet the council’s £100 million backlog of road repairs.

In addition, the impact of austerity cuts of £160 million on the council means that there is no possibility of making significant inroads into this situation.

This is a national problem and Mr Green needs to stand up and be counted and tell Philip Hammond to properly and adequately finance road repairs.

Cllr David Chadwick

Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport