Members of Sunderland City Council have been at the centre of controversy regarding the city’s pothole crisis.
Liberal Democrat Martin Haswell, councillor for the Pallion and Ford areas of the city, challenged the council at a recent meeting to do more to help repair the roads.
He said: “Residents across Pallion and Ford tell me that they want this council to fix our roads. For years, road resurfacing has been ignored and the Labour response has been to simply make it harder for residents to get potholes repaired by tinkering with the rules.
“The Liberal Democrat Group last night proposed an injection of funds to get our city’s roads repaired, but our proposals were rejected by both Labour and Conservative councillors. Labour don’t struggle to find huge sums of money for their pet projects, but getting the basics like street cleaning and road repairs right seems to be another matter.”
However, the deputy leader of the Council, Labour’s Michael Mordey, dismissed the claims and responded: “These comments show the naivety, disrespect and contempt that the Liberal Democrats have for so many people in our city.
“This council’s Labour councillors do not believe that meeting the educational and caring needs of the young and vulnerable in our city are ‘pet projects’. It is absolutely shameful of the Liberal Democrats to try to grab headlines in this way.”
The dispute comes after the horrendous weather conditions that battered the North East last week, with the city’s roads being one of the biggest casualties.
A council spokesperson also challenged these claims and added: “Sunderland City Council maintains more than 750 miles of road and in the last full financial year of 2016/17, 5,300 pot holes were repaired.”
“Following last week’s severe winter weather, highways staff have been assessing damage to main roads and will take all the necessary action to make dangerous areas safe as soon as possible.”
Potholes are one of the biggest issues for motorists and cause severe damage to vehicles, especially when hit at speed.