LANCASHIRE County Council faces a demand to hand over responsibility for repairing potholes and road surfaces to district authorities.

Its highways boss Cllr Keith Iddon is to be asked to devolve street maintenance cash and decisions on priorities to local councillors.

Pendle Council is to write to him asking for a return to the old system where it decided what work was done where and for how much.

Its plea has been backed by the leaders of Hyndburn Council Cllr Miles Parkinson and his Burnley Borough counterpart Cllr Charlie Briggs.

The decision to ask for the change was taken by Pendle Council’s Policy and Resources Committee last week.

Horsfield ward Tory Cllr Jonathan Nixon told it: “I raised this at Colne and District Committee.

“I passed my driving test in 2005. I’ve always thought the roads are just a disaster, really. poorly maintained, for years and years. It used to be local councillors deciding when the money was spent on Lancashire County Council’s behalf.

“Why can’t we bring control of the maintenance of the roads back to Pendle? There are so many local tarmacking companies I can never understand why there are so many potholes.

“The impression I get is that we’re so far away from Preston we get forgotten about.”

Cllr David Whipp, deputy leader of Pendle Council, said: “In the good old days we had highway agency arrangements, The decisions on priorities were locally based. That was all taken away many years ago now and it’s something I believe was a huge mistake.

“Pendle Council’s engineers were able to get much better value for money. I think it would be beneficial to approach Lancashire County Council to see whether there is any possibility for reinstating highway arrangements and for district councils to be responsible for looking after the roads in their areas with fair allocations of funding.”

Old Laund Booth Liberal Democrat Cllr Brian Newman: “The quality of the pothole filling is an absolute disgrace. I am sure that Pendle could do a lot better.”

Cllr Parkinson said: “I would support this. Local councillors making local decisions was a much better system.”

Cllr Briggs said: “Why not? It is how it used to be done. I would support going back to it.”

Cllr Iddon said: “I have an open mind and will happily discuss this with districts but it is not as easy as it looks.”