A move to hand control of budgets to fix potholes and pavements to district councils has been blocked.

Conservative councillors on Essex County Council voted against separate proposals to devolve the roads budget and renegotiate the 10-year highways budget with Ringways Jacob.

UKIP councillor Roger Lord said the £1 billion contract signed two years ago was fatally flawed.

He said: “Paying somebody to fill a hole without a long term guarantee means that you can guarantee it will not last a long term. So enough is enough.”

Meanwhile, Labour group leader Julie Young revealed County Hall faced compensation claims totalling £3 million following a 53 per cent rise in complaints about falls caused by pavement defects and potholes.

Several councillors said the vast majority of the correspondence they received from residents related to highways issues and particularly potholes.

Rodney Bass, councillor responsible for highways, revealed the deal with Ringways Jacob would be reviewed and said the budget for road repairs had gone up 50 per cent in 2014/15.