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Great Britain

Council slammed for employing pothole experts costing ‘£1000 a day in tax-payers cash’

DIGGING THEMSELVES A HOLE

A COUNCIL struggling for cash has been slammed for spending £1000-a-day of tax payer money - on a pothole consultant.

The pothole 'expert’ will be paid £130,000 by Shropshire council for a six-month contract to assess problems and how to fix them.

The consultant is charged with assessing crumbling, derelict roads in the county as the local area deals with a backlog of 3,500 holes in need of desperate repair.

Shropshire council will fork out the money despite already paying £21million per year to a private construction company to maintain roads and highways.

Despite the fluttering of cash, the council is seeking to cut £14 million from its annual budget to balance the books.

Locals have reacted furiously to the new expert, saying the money could be better spent compensating drivers or actually fixing the potholes themselves.

Recruitment consultant David Hartlebury from Bridgnorth blasted the latest expense as a “breathtaking waste of taxpayers’ money”.

The 35-year-old said: “Why not spend it on actually fixing the potholes and ensuring the contractors you already have in place are doing their job properly.

“I work in recruitment and if somebody isn’t pulling their weight, you crack the whip a bit and make it clear if they aren’t up to scratch then they won’t have the job much longer.

“Spending additional cash to correct the existing problem which is already costing money, just makes bad business sense.”

And self-employed plumber Robert McKell said: “It’s an outrageous wage to pay somebody to essentially look at holes in the ground. The money should be spent on fixing potholes not simply talking about them.

Cabinet member for highways, Councillor Steve Davenport, said the role of the consultant consisted of a lot more than just looking at potholes.

He said of the new appointment: “A consultant is providing advice on how to make crucial improvements based on his experience of running very successful highways operations elsewhere. Costs are £1,000 per day which is comparable with usual consultant rates.”

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