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June 28, 2018 12:36 PM

Shropshire Councillors in the west of the County have strongly criticised Shropshire Council for the way it deals with claims from local residents who have had their cars damaged by potholes.

Jonny Keeley, Councillor for Bishops Castle Division, said "As if the number and severity of potholes in our part of the world isn't bad enough the treatment received by residents who claim for damage inflicted on their vehicles is truly dire. Irrespective of how much evidence they have to prove their case the treatment they receive from the solicitors acting on behalf of the Council's insurers is dismissive if not downright rude. This is even worse when you look at the variable standard of the repairs - some brilliant, others left untouched and some destined just to need repair again within a week or so. "

All Councils with the responsibility for the upkeep of roads in England and Wales are liable for damage caused to vehicles if the pothole has been reported and the Council have failed to undertake a repair within a reasonable time.

Cllr Heather Kidd (Chirbury and Worthen) continued: " This whole set up is to make it as difficult as possible for residents to make a claim. In my ward alone I now of people who have damaged their cars on potholes that I have reported two, three or four times over months and still these solicitors are denying responsibility. One gentleman in the Hope Valley has serious flooding to his garden and patio caused by the road . The Council started rectifying the problem and stopped due to the snow. Three months on they have not gone back. A pipe destined to take the water away stops in the middle of the road! The insurance solicitors are even telling him that it's his fault!"

Claimants ringing Shropshire Council also say that the help desk warns them that "the Council won't pay".

Cllr Nigel Hartin (Clun Division) concluded: "Even Shropshire Council admits that the roads are in a terrible state and the law clearly defines what their obligations are.. These blatant attempts to obstruct valid claims simply infuriates residents.

"We urging the Council in the strongest possible terms to instruct their agents in this matter to act in a fair and polite manner when dealing with the public. As Council Tax Payers we expect nothing less."