Time to plug the budget leak?

NEWS that Cornwall Council has received additional funding to tackle potholes has been warmly, yet cautiously, received.

Regular readers of the Advertiser may have seen our previous articles highlighting an increasing number of problem potholes on our highways.

Last year 28,953 potholes were reported to Cornwall Council and this year the figure is projected to rise to 45,000.

I have seen council workers filling holes from buckets of tarmac along Station Road in Helston more than a dozen times, while leaving bulging lumps on the surface.

A press release from Cornwall Council received at the Advertiser quoted leader Adam Paynter saying: “Compared to many other local authority networks, our roads are in good condition”.

Although our road surfaces may not be as bad as some other areas, I am not sure we could ever use the words “good condition” to describe our highways, yet perhaps his own route to work and the supermarket are given priority.

Cornwall Council’s total budget for repairing our highways in 2018/19 is £36.2m, yet the region’s road network is currently facing a maintenance backlog in excess of £284m. These strikingly differing figures remind of a legendary story of a Dutch boy trying to stop a leaking dike with his finger.

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