AN EXTRA £5million has been announced for road repairs less than a day after rogue pothole planters installed trees and flowers on Benfleet’s streets.

Essex County Council leader David Finch made the announcement as the council confirmed its new cabinet for the year ahead.

This week Joe Dee and Brad Martin decided they wanted to raise the issue of inadequate roads.

Mr Dee said: “We wanted to draw attention to the ever growing problem of potholes in the area, which seems to go unnoticed by the council for too long.

“And the amount of money us drivers have to pay out for new tyres and damage to our vehicles just because the roads are not worthy to drive on.

“It makes me wonder why we pay road tax.

“This was a nice easy way to bring attention to it, and to keep the village looking pretty.”

Yesterday Mr Finch said: “I am pleased to announce additional funding for our highways that have deteriorated more rapidly due to the bad weather earlier this year.

“There will be an extra £2.5 million for pothole repairs, £1.2 million for local highways panels, £1 million for highways works that can be devolved to as local a level as possible, and £200,000 to keep Essex tidy by improving the appearance of highways and verges.”

At the same time as the announcement, Essex County Council has unveiled its new look cabinet.

John Jowers was elected as chairman of the council with Eddie Johnson as his deputy.

Deputy leader will be Kevin Bentley.

Ray Gooding will continue with his role in education with Gagan Mohindra taking on the portfolio for economic development.

Following the planting of trees and flowers into potholes a spokesman for Essex County Council defended its record and warned of the risks of standing in the road doing things like this.

The council has blamed the cold weather earlier this year for some of the road problems despite many of the potholes pre-dating the cold snap.