What would you fix: 500 potholes or a private road for council use only?

You have £35,000 to spend.

Do you:

a) Fix 500 potholes, or

b) Spend it on resurfacing a short one-way road that is blocked off from the public by a barrier and is only accessible for council use (to reach the parking spaces for councillors and senior officers and to make deliveries)?

If (b), congratulations. You have what it takes to be a Hull councillor. (Though even then you may well not have what it takes to be the writer of the best headline on a political leaflet in Hull.)

If you failed that test, try this one instead.

You have £8,000 to spend.

Do you:

a) Fix 115 potholes, or

b) Spend it on two new wooden cabinets to hold the council’s silverware?

If (b), congratulations. On the second time of asking it turns out you have what it takes to be a Hull councillor.

(And yes, there are an awful lot of potholes on Hull’s roads.)


* Mark Pack has written 101 Ways To Win An Election and produces a monthly newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.

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  • Scott Berry 2nd Apr '12 - 1:29pm

    Any chance you hit a pothole and got a puncture on your way into work this morning Mark?

  • Richard Dean 2nd Apr '12 - 11:49pm

    Aw come on Mark, think a bit, it’s a no-brainer! How will the lorries get out of the car park to fix the potholes if the road they go out on isn’t fixed first?

    And have you seen the silver market recently! Rock bottom – there’s a financial crisis! That stuff has to be kept till the price goes up, and kept nice too, so it can be sold off later to get enough to pay for fixing potholes! And remember, there’ll be more potholes to fix then!

    Chickens, eggs, lateral thinking, ….

  • Does it really cost £700 (ie. £35K/500) to fix one pothole? I don’t know much about pothole fixing, but that sounds a lot to basically pour some tarmac on one or two square metres of road. £35000 to resurface a section of road likewise sounds a massive amount of money – basically one professional person’s salary for a whole year. Is that a very long section of road, or is the council getting ripped off by contractors, or is resurfacing really that complicated?

  • Richard Dean 3rd Apr '12 - 11:29pm

    £35,000 for 500 potholoes is £70 per pothole, which is not unreasonable, particularly if a professional job is done including cleaning out the debris and repairing the damage to the road base.

  • Ah yep. Missing zero on the maths :-) I agree that £70 to fix a pothole doesn’t sound unreasonable.

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