Council slammed over 'video nasty' of pothole repair in Sutton

A ‘video nasty’, which appears to show the slapdash treatment of a pothole in Sutton, has led to criticism of Nottinghamshire County Council’s repairs policy.

By Richard Silverwood
Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 11:53 am

The repair is carried out in only 44 seconds as workers measure up the pothole and throw a bag of ViaFix on to it before sitting in their van for three-and-a-half minutes and then driving off.

The video has gone viral after being posted on Facebook, and has now been raised at a full meeting of the council.

Members of the Ashfield Independents group say it proves the council has “slipped into bad habits again” when it comes to the repair of potholes, which have been the scourge of Ashfield roads in recent years.

Coun David Martin (left), with fellow Ashfield Independent, Coun Jason Zadrozny, inspecting a pothole in Underwood.

In March, the council promised to invest an extra £15 million on pothole repairs over the next three years.

And it stressed how a new, more refined ‘right first time’ approach to repairs would be adopted, delivering long-term, permanent work, rather than short-term fixes.

However, Coun David Martin, leader of the Ashfield Independents, said the video, filmed by a resident, proved the council has not been true to its word.

He said: “While I acknowledge the use of the dreaded ViaFix has gone down, it’s clear that it is still being used too much.

"An investigation into this video nasty is needed.

"As part of a highways review last year that the Independents pressured the council into undertaking, we saw a demonstration of how a pothole should be repaired.

"It’s clear this has not been followed through at all, and the council needs to get a grip. It’s not good enough.”

Coun Martin compared the video to another posted two years ago which showed a worker taking longer to smoke a cigarette than fix a pothole.

He has now sent the latest video to Coun Neil Clarke, cabinet member for transport and the environment at County Hall.

At the council meeting, he asked Coun Clarke: “Is this what you call significantly improving the procedure to fix our broken roads and pavements? How many bags of ViaFix has the council used to repair our potholes, compared to this time last year?”

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Coun Clarke said he had not seen the video and accused Coun Martin of “tabling an attention-seeking question”.

However, he revealed that workers were now using 57 per cent less ViaFix than before the highways review.

"In my view, this is a good achievement and shows continued improvement in the way we work,” said Coun Clarke.

"At no stage have I said that ViaFix would be eliminated completely. When there is a need to make urgent safety repairs, that’s where ViaFix comes in. For emergency reasons, it is always going to be necessary.

"All staff are properly trained to make repairs in line with best-practice procedures.

"And there are some situations where it is not appropriate for staff to spend more time than is absolutely necessary to make a road safe.”

Coun Clarke pointed out that as part of millions of pounds being invested in fixing roads, the council’s repairs team had been doubled in numbers.

He added: "Our highways team is having a major impact on improving the quality and quantity of repairs delivered.

"This year, the equivalent of 20 miles of continuous roads will be permanently repaired.”