A council has defended its “crazy” decision to pay lawyers thousands of pounds to avoid paying a motorist less than £200 for damage caused by a pothole.
Wavendon driver Andy Pyecock is so enraged at the waste of taxpayers’ cash that he has offered to scrap his claim – providing Central Beds Council makes a donation to a Christmas charity.
But this week Andy’s burst of seasonal goodwill received a terse response.
“As a responsible local authority we can’t make exceptional circumstances for individual cases,” a council spokesman told the Citizen.
Andy, 45, was on a business trip in October when he drove over a two metre-long pothole on the Salford Road leading to the motorway. The impact damaged two tyres and buckled the wheel rims.
“I got my car repaired and submitted a modest bill for £193 to Central Beds, who are responsible for that road. I didn’t dream I wouldn’t be repaid,” he said.
But despite contractors going out the next day to repair the pothole, Andy’s claim was rebuffed – because no other incidents had been reported in that area.
“I naturally protested, only to be amazed when I received a letter from lawyers recruited by the council. I now have a pile of lawyers’ letters costing taxpayers goodness knows how many hundreds of pounds,” said Andy.
He is now pursuing his case through the small claims court. But this week he has sent the council a Christmas peace offering.
“Rather than them spending thousands more on lawyers to defend them in court, I’ve offered to ditch the case if they promised to donate the £193 to Crisis at Christmas charity instead,” he said.
“I don’t want to be part of such a crazy waste of cash. I would rather a charity had it.”