A TWO-million-pound emergency fund has been created to fix potholes.

It comes on top of an expected £1million bill for extra salt and grit for Lancashire roads.

The full extent of road damage during the big freeze is still being assessed, but today Conservative highway chief Keith Young announced that £2million would be made available in the short term.

Speaking at a cabinet meeting at County Hall, Preston, he said: “With the recent cold weather there has been a marked deterioration in the highways.

"A survey is being done at the moment which will identify the priority works.”

The £2million is part of a £5million investment in highways planned over the next four years.

At today’s meeting the ruling cabinet also finalised the £724million budget for the next financial year, which includes more than £20million of spending reductions.

It was confirmed that the county council's tax precept would be frozen, which was a Conservative election pledge.

Council leader Geoff Driver said: “We will not be raising taxes to pay for highway repairs.

“When we took control of the county last year we added £9million to the highways budget, and this week we are adding £15million to it.

“The increase in the budget was planned but it is slightly fortuitous considering the bad weather we have had.”

The budget will now be rubber-stamped by the full council on February 18.

Controversial plans to scrap the ‘Lancashire Local’ committees, which are a partnership between the County Hall and smaller district councils, were also agreed.

But a special council meeting is now likely because a coalition of opposition councillors are expected to trigger further debate.

Speaking at the meeting, Labour opposition group leader Jennifer Mein, said the decision for to axe Lancashire Locals left ‘a void in democracy'.

She urged council leader Geoff Driver to postpone the decision until a replacement was in place.

She said: "You are preventing local people from having their say.”

Conservative councillors said the meetings had not been well attended by residents so they did not have a voice through the committee.