Macclesfield Central Councillor Digs into Cheshire East's Pothole Problem

  Posted: 24.06.21 at 18:31 by Cllr Ashley Farrall

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Councillor Ashley Farrall: Let's talk about everyone's favourite pet peeve, potholes and the general state of our roads.

This is something as a Councillor takes up far too much of my time.

The time I'd much rather spent among other things working with our local community groups, helping local businesses, working on post-COVID recovery and regeneration, working on plans to improve our town centre, public open spaces and our parks or as Armed Forces champion helping veterans with their needs such as finding accommodation.

After all, I wasn't elected to be a road inspector or engineer.

However, I go out and take pictures of roads, report them, re-report them, check them when Highways claim they're resolved, then re-re-report them again when they aren't or done have been done shoddily! Until they are done.

But did you know that Cheshire East highways maintenance isn't performed by the Council itself?

A particularly garish pothole marked for change on Chestergate. It is unknown when it will be refilled by Chelmsford contractors Ringway Jacobs.

No, the Conservatives while in power, decided to privatise this service (in their infinite wisdom) and in 2018 gave an eye-watering 15 year contract to private firm Ringway Jacobs.

The best part is they get to inspect their work themselves, providing the Council with annual reports of their stats.

So unfortunately there isn't a great deal we can do to hold them to account other than to keep taking pictures and reporting, maybe the stats will show that Ringway Jacobs are not pulling their weight.

The next review is in September so please help by taking pictures of potholes etc and report them via the Cheshire East, or Fixmystreet national or Cheshire East websites.

That said, it's not entirely Ringway Jacobs fault because we get a nice double whammy with the Government cutting Cheshire East highway's maintenance budget by 21% and because of this the Council can not afford to even maintain the roads in their current state, never mind to improve them overall.

A left turn from Chestergate. Cllr Farral: "These images reveal the different stages of being reported and 'repaired'."

Here are the figures

Central Government
Department for Transport (DfT)
2020-2021 £19,002,000
2021-2022 £15,051,000
Change -£3,951,000
Percentage Change -21%

Council Investment top up
2020-2021 £1,700,000
2021-2022 £3,000,000
Change £1,300,000
Percentage Change +76%

Budget Total
2020-2021 £20,702,000
2021-2022 £18,051,000
Change -£2,651,000
Percentage Change -17%

Source

A poorly filled pothole already showing cracks crossing at Charles Roe Chambers.

Ashley Farrall is a Labour Councillor, representing Macclesfield Central on Cheshire East Council. You can contact him here.

Did you know Cheshire East's potholes are filled by an Essex company? Do you agree with Ashley on the state of potholes in Macclesfield?

He submitted all contents of the article, barring the exception of a few images taken by the Editor of Macclesfield Nub News.

The photo captions and headline were also produced by our Editor, and not Cllr Farrall.

You can submit your own news stories to Macclesfield Nub News by clicking the black 'Nub It' button on our News section.

A collage of the worst offending potholes in Macclesfield, as shared by Cllr Ashley Farrall. He has served Macclesfield Central since May 2019.

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