Pothole Pete takes a seat for council meeting
HOW the other half live! All morning in a committee room at the council, and the only hole I could see was a £17.8million one in Plymouth City Council's budget.
I arrived yesterday to a very warm welcome from councillors on the 2013/14 budget scrutiny panel.
Cllr Mark Coker, the Cabinet member for transport, was not particularly pleased to see me and declined my request to have my photo taken with him which is a pity because we're doing the same job really, trying to keep Plymouth's roads in good shape.
Cllr Mary Aspinall (Lab, Sutton and Mount Gould), was an altogether jollier prospect.
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She is chair of the overview and scrutiny management board, and is handling three days of budget scrutiny with amazing authority and good humour.
According to Cllr Coker he will need up to 4million a year just to keep up with all of this city's potholes. They are like the heads of the Hydra in Greek mythology – chop one off and two grow in its place.
Now Cllr Coker has told staff to go away and think of a better solution, and not before time.
Cllr Kevin Wigens, who was Cabinet member for transport in the last Conservative administration, knows as much as anyone about potholes.
He had two years of record cold and snowfall to contend with and is now getting his own back for the years when their roles were reversed and Cllr Coker made him squirm.
Cllr Wigens's solution was major resurfacing instead of patching the holes, but that doesn't come cheap.
With Britain's local authorities needing to spend an estimated £10billion on road repairs, brace yourself for a shock in the near future.
Cllr Coker vowed that he wouldn't contemplate congestion charging in Plymouth.
But it's only a matter of time before a council somewhere thinks of charging a road toll to pay for repairs, and then the floodgates will be open.
Until then, my job is safe.