Cheshire West and Chester Council certainly had good intentions when it send one of its media staff out to follow a highways team for a day, fixing potholes and tweeting the results, but this innocent attempt to get a bit of positive PR managed to backfire spectacularly.
It all started with an apparently harmless tweet: “Further along the road another potential problem has been reported. Darren inspects it and explains that as it is under 50mm no action needs to be taken at this time.”
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The problem was that the picture accompanying the tweet didn’t appear to show Darren doing the best of jobs of measuring the depth of the pothole, with the pothole appearing to be so big that his spirit level would not span the whole thing meaning that he seemed to be measuring the depth of the pothole from a point that was already a few inches down inside said pothole.
Twitter being Twitter, this was picked up by various users who replied to the council to point out that they should perhaps provide Darren with a longer spirit level for his next job.
The council has since deleted the tweet, but thankfully the replies remain, with Twitter users producing their usual pithy replies…
The person behind the council’s Twitter account tried in vain to explain that the photo didn’t tell the whole story and the pothole had in fact been measured correctly.
However they eventually conceded defeat and deleted the original tweet, although the council stood by the idea that the pothole had been measured correctly.
“The pothole in question was measured correctly and in line with our policy, Cllr Karen Shore, cabinet member for environment, told The Chester Chronicle.
“At a depth of 36mm, the pothole is a lower category defect than those of more than 50mm, which are prioritised for repair within 24 hours.
“However, this has still been listed as defective and raised as a job for our contractor to complete in the coming weeks, which is standard for this type of repair.”