LETTER: Does ESCC lack the resources?

In the Eastbourne Herald dated February 27 Norman Baker, in his typically thorough and factual way, presented the background to the East Sussex County Council’s failure to get to grips with the potholes in Polegate by March 2015. It would be reasonable to suggest that the problem is not just in Polegate but is county wide. I would suggest that the real problem is that the East Sussex County Council, whilst having the financial resources to sort out the problem, does not have the human resources. By their own admission, they only supervise 20 per cent of highway works and the works are self certificated by their contractors – hence the mess we are in at the moment. The East Sussex County Council has also in the past asked the public to report “potholes in their area” – Mr Williams Eastbourne Herald 14th November 2014. In practise, their response is often rather ‘slow’ and the resultant repair is often of a poor quality and not of a permanent nature. I am sure that the Herald’s readers have their own examples. Often the pothole is marked with white paint which fades away and the repair is never done or if it is repaired it can take months. Mr Williams gave a time scale for repairs of between two hours and 28 days.

Mike Archer in the Eastbourne Herald of January 20 suggested that there should be “a warranty by the contractor...” To be fair to the East Sussex County Council this is a non-starter for practical and resource reasons as far as potholes are concerned. What is required is a properly executed repair in the first place. This should be relatively easy to organise?

Finally, it would be interesting if the East Sussex County Council would like to comment on the figures which show they paid out over £169,000 in 2013/14 compared to Kent’s nearly £48,000 and West Sussex’s nearly £53,000 for the same period on claims as a result of potholes. There has to be a simple answer which I am sure the readers of the local paper could provide.

Geoffrey McCallum

Meadows Road, Willingdon