I WATCHED a programme on TV recently about the Government having to bail out the local authorities to the sum of £15 million pounds to help fill the nation’s potholes.

Why do we have potholes in the first place? I would venture to suggest it is nothing to do with “the Beast from the East” as suggested by one of the commentators, as this happens every year at this time.

As my old mother used to say, if you pay cheap – you get cheap”. Potholes and schools falling down are caused by the same problem. Local authorities are duty bound to put these contracts out to public tender and the work is done not to a standard (although councils will tell you different), it is done to a price. Many council contracts will contain a bland sentence that the lowest tenderer will not always win, but the price deemed to be best value for money will be chosen. In my experience the lowest price always wins, as the councils try to spread the money available around as many jobs as possible. The cheapest wins.

The only way for companies to make profit on many public service jobs, is to use the cheapest materials possible and often sub contract the job out to a contractor willing to work for less.

Does the tax payer get best value for money? Probably not! How many times have you seen a road re-surfaced for holes to appear just months later? The White Cart Viaduct on the M8 by Glasgow Airport is one such example where a new road is now littered with holes and sounds like you are driving down a railway line.

The cheapest is not the best value for money for the taxpayer if the work has to be re-done years or even months later.

Whilst public tendering seems to be the fairest way for companies to be awarded publicly funded contracts, it has resulted in many jobs being done to a much lower standard than could otherwise be achieved.

Thomas G Wylie,

3Kings Crescent, Elderslie.