CHESHIRE East council has blamed central government funding cuts after a Conservative MP slammed its policy for repairing potholes.

Tatton MP Esther McVey said it was 'beyond a joke' the authority had failed to repair potholes in a Knutsford road, despite residents being told they would be sorted four years ago.

However, the council responded to the Conservative MPs stinging criticism saying how highway maintenance funding from central government had been cut by more than 20 per cent compared to last year.

Esther McVey was speaking out after paying a visit to concerned residents living on Beeston Drive, saying the road had been blighted with an uneven surface and potholes for years.

Families had been given hope in 2017 after they were told it was third on the list for repairs and residents expected the road would be repaired within months, but four years on they are still waiting.

She said: "This is simply not acceptable.

"It is beyond a joke how a road can be prioritised and then dropped.

"Not only is it unsightly and poses a damage to vehicles, the road has many young families with children who want to ride their bikes but they cannot due to the road being full of holes."

It is believed the criteria for resurfacing and pothole repair is that the affected area is 50mm deep, however, the surface of Beeston Road would not meet those strict specifications given the surface is not that deep.

A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council said: “We are constantly working to maintain the condition of our roads and we put the safety of road users at its highest priority.

“This year, our highway maintenance funding from central government has been cut by 21 per cent (more than a fifth) compared with last year.

"The grant reduction has meant that we will only be able to focus this year’s budget on the key routes. The programme needs to be focussed on the roads that carry the most traffic or are identified as the key roads in the borough.

“The council has responsibility for maintaining £6bn of highways assets, which require £28m a year just to keep on top of issues and maintain their current condition.

“However, government have only provided £15m funding of this year – just over half the sum needed to keep our roads maintained – and this represents less than one quarter of one per cent of the value of our vital road network.

“It simply isn’t possible to maintain the network effectively, given this inadequate level of investment by the Department for Transport.

“We will, of course, try our best to maintain all roads through a schedule of inspections and response to ad hoc inquiries and, where necessary, the reactive repair of identified defects, in line with our code of practice for highway safety inspections, to keep the network safe.”