Renfrewshire Council’s roads chief has said his team is “always looking to be innovative” after an elected member asked how they plan on dealing with the “ever-growing problem” of potholes in the local authority.

Councillor Iain McMillan, Labour group leader and representative for Johnstone South and Elderslie, said he had been “inundated with complaints” about the state of the area’s roads of late.

And the veteran politician questioned the department on how it can effectively tackle the problem “with less money to spend” – after £5 million was earmarked for roads and footpaths in the year ahead, compared against £6.7m for 2023/24.

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He told the infrastructure, land and environment policy board on Wednesday: “As we know in the recent budget there was a cut compared with last year’s spending on roads and footpaths, can I ask the officers, with less money to spend, how are they going to deal with the ever-growing problem of potholes?

“I think I’m not alone in this room in saying that I’ve been inundated with complaints recently about potholes. I’m sure everybody’s exactly the same.

“With less money, how are we going to do more? I do know we’ve got better machinery, so hopefully that will help.”

Councillor Michelle Campbell, board convener and SNP representative for Erskine and Inchinnan, said she took “slight umbrage” with Councillor McMillan’s reference to the earmarked funds as a “cut”.

“It’s an ongoing investment,” she said. “I do appreciate the SNP’s is a rolling administration, so it’s a unique position in that respect … but we did put [in] record investment.

“The number of roads that are sitting within a better class, we’ve fundamentally improved vastly from where we’ve been in the ranking tables. I don’t have the exact positions off the top of my head.

“However, the amount that’s there is going to make a difference to roads and I’m glad to see that Labour have finally agreed the importance of having that vast road infrastructure investment, which we have done on a continual basis because roads, like I’ve said at previous boards, are an ongoing investment.”

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According to a report considered at the board, recent local government benchmarking framework data has shown improvements in Renfrewshire’s roads across every category in recent years.

This was highlighted by Gerard Hannah, head of climate, public protection and roads, who outlined the council’s approach to maintenance and improvement.

He responded: “I appreciate there’ll be issues in some areas and the team are actively looking at that.

“In terms of how we approach things going forward, we’re always looking to be innovative – how can we do things differently, how can we do things better?

“I know members are probably fed up with me banging on about how the performance on potholes has improved over the years and that’s something we don’t take our eye off and will continue to keep an eye on going forward.

“But even down to things like using different material types, can we do these things better and smarter going forward?

“That’s something the service will always continue to do.”