A MOVE to hand control of budgets to fix potholes and pavements to district councils has been blocked.

Conservative councillors on Essex County Council voted against separate proposals to devolve the roads budget and renegotiate the 10 year highways budget with Ringways Jacob.

Last September a new system of prioritising highways repair according to the grade of road was introduced.

County councillor for Harwich Ivan Henderson was asked to request a more localised approach by his town council and said: “The main aim is to improve public safety because the system at the moment is flawed.

“People still have to use minor roads and roads in residential areas so they are no less dangerous.

“Local councils would do a better job because they could use local contractors to fix the issues.”

However Highways supremo Rodney Bass believes the current system works well.

“We are successfully tackling defects on roads and footways throughout Essex, although there is still much work to be done."