Ernie Clark. Hilperton Division, Wiltshire Council.

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Thursday January 30, 2020 Parish Stewards change focus to potholes.

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Wiltshire Council’s army of Parish Stewards are focusing their energies on repairing potholes to combat the wet weather damage on Wiltshire’s roads for the next month.

The 20 stewards work in local communities to carry out repairs and maintenance, based on the needs of the communities they serve. They have been in place since 2016, and work on a local basis to carry out tasks such as repairing potholes, tending pathways, clearing drainage and verge maintenance.

However, for at least the next month, they will be solely focusing on repairing potholes in their community areas.

Cllr Bridget Wayman, Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “This winter has, so far, been particularly wet, and this has led to an increasing number of potholes on Wiltshire’s roads.

“To help combat this, all our parish stewards will focus solely on seeking out and repairing potholes throughout Wiltshire for the next month.

“If people spot a pothole, I’d urge them to report using My Wiltshire, so our stewards can repair them.

“We spend around £20m per year on major maintenance, including resurfacing 159km of roads in the current financial year.

“Unfortunately, there is a huge disparity in this investment compared to London and other urban areas, which can invest up to three times more in their road maintenance, as they benefit from a significantly higher level of funding and more regional investment, according to research by the County Councils Network. If we had this additional funding, we would invest it in improving Wiltshire’s roads.”

In 2018, Wiltshire Council was allocated £7.3million from the central government pothole fund. It has also spent a further £500,000 on reactive highway maintenance to ensure people have as smooth a journey as possible on the county’s roads.

To ensure Wiltshire's network is maintained at the highest possible standard, every adopted road in Wiltshire is inspected at a frequency, depending on its use; higher used roads receive a greater number of inspections.

Residents can report potholes with the MyWiltshire smartphone app, or on the council website at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/mywiltshire-online-reporting