THE deputy leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council has come under criticism for claiming to have brought roadworks forward by over a year.

Coun Tony Melia said that because of his constant nagging at Capita, pothole repairs scheduled for the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011 in Inverness Road, Manor Road and Borough Road would be completed by the end of this month.

But town councillor Dave Smith said he had a recent conversation with an officer at Capita and was told that surface dressing of Manor Road had actually been delayed, not brought forward.

Coun Smith said: “You would have thought that the deputy leader of the council would know these details.”

Coun Dave Hollings also confirmed that the work was originally in the 2009 schedule and accused Coun Melia of “spinning”.

Conservative councillor John Slater said he was “flabbergasted” by Coun Melia’s claims.

He said: “Ward councillors work hard to get improvements and to get work done.

“For Tony Melia to claim credit for this is a scandal.

“If a UFO landed in Darwen, the For Darwen Party would try to claim credit for it.”