A ‘SHAMED’ council has responded to outrage over potholes which took more than a year to fix after a disabled resident took repairs into his own hands.

Defiant Halstead resident, Chris Howard, 55, decided to fix the potholes on Courtauld Close with the help of an elderly neighbour after getting fed-up waiting for Essex County Council to repair the road.

Three potholes, which were up to six inches deep, were patched by Mr Howard who is wheelchair-bound.

It came after Mr Howard reported the potholes to the council 13 times since May last year and called for repairs to the street which is home to mainly elderly and disabled residents.

However, after Mr Howard “simply got on with it”, it took just a few days for a team of professional roadworkers to arrive and completely fix the street’s road surface.

As a result, Mr Howard says he feels the council will only act if they feel pressured into doing so.

It comes after flooding issues on Bridge Street and a blocked drain on Sudbury Road, which was damaging a historic wall, were reported by the Gazette in recent weeks.

Both these issues have since been repaired by the council.

Mr Howard said: “A team from Colchester highways have repaired every single pothole this morning.

“Running the story in the Gazette has embarrassed them into doing it finally.”

This isn’t the first time the council and Mr Howard have crossed swords.

In 2018, Mr Howard engaged in a years-long battle with Essex County Council over the installation of a designated disabled parking bay at his home on Courtauld Close.

As a result, Mr Howard feels the council has discriminated against elderly and disabled residents on Courtauld Close.

He added: “It took almost two years for a disabled parking bay to be installed, again with assistance from the Halstead Gazette.

“Then the potholes after 13 reports were made in total.

“ECC think they’re exempt from the Equality Act 2010.

“They think that making reasonable adjustments to enable disabled people doesn’t apply to them.

“They discriminate against all elderly residents, disabled and able-bodied.

“It's clearly an issue where they think Halstead doesn’t matter.”

In response, a spokesman for Essex Highways said: “Due to our limited resources, Essex Highways must prioritise all works and fix the higher-risk issues first.

“In this instance, we had a crew in the area and because these defects were logged on our system following the annual inspection of the area, it made sense to attend to them while our crew was in the location.

"These repairs were uninfluenced by the article in the Halstead Gazette.”