SWINDON Council is applying to the Government for a share of the £168m fund to repair potholes.

The money, enough to repair three million potholes across the country, was made available by Chancellor George Osborne as part of his March budget statement. It is on offer to councils across the country.

Coun Keith Williams, cabinet member for highways, strategic transport and leisure, said: “We are aware of the fund and will be applying as it is a good opportunity to improve our roads. “I don’t know exactly how much we will be applying for at the minute as we are still looking into the application.

“I would stress that we don’t want to spend too much of our officers’ time with this application as we don’t want officers spending lots of time on something that might get rejected. “I only say this because the Department for Transport has made the application process much stricter recently.”

If the council is successful in its bid they will have to sign the Government’s pothole pledge which sets out how many potholes they hope to repair with the grant.

As part of the application, councils are required to carry out the repair work, stated in their application, by March 2015.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Potholes are a menace for all road users.

“ I want councils to rise to the challenge and reward councils who come up with new and better ways of making repairs quickly and effectively.

“With this new pothole fund councils will need to clearly set out the scale of the work they are doing so local communities can have certainty that the money is being spent fixing potholes on their local roads.”

Coun Williams said that the council is revising the way that they repair potholes whether or not they are successful in their grant application.

He said: “We are currently reviewing our pothole process because at the minute we tend to do a temporary repair and then do the main repair later down the line but to be more efficient we want to make sure the job just needs doing once.”

Councils have until 4pm on Thursday, May 22 to apply for a share of the pothole fund. For more information about the scheme visit the website at www.gov.uk.