A FORMER Ascot Racecourse manager says he is happy to go to jail after refusing to pay any council tax until a pothole-ridden road in his village is fixed.

Ronnie Wilkie, 78, has become so fed-up with state of the surface along a country lane near his home he has now vowed to stop paying council rates.  

The ex racecourse operations manager has even offered to give out free champagne to anyone who knows of a worst road for potholes.

The crater-lined C-road connects the two picturesque villages of Kinnersley and Almeley and residents say the problems have been going on for too long. 

Hereford was recently named the "pothole capital of England" with 25,000 being reported to the council last year alone - more than any other area in the country. 

Mr Wilkie, of Kinnersley, said: "It's a disaster.

"I used to run Ascot Racecourse and know about road surfaces. But council tax has gone up again and I am fed up with it.

"As a local resident, I am happy to go to jail and refused to pay my council tax.

"I shall also give a bottle of champagne to the residents of a road in Herefordshire which may be found to be in a worse state than ours."

He said that the road has been shoddily repaired five times in the past year, the most recent after he went to MP Sir Bill Wiggin's office to discuss the issue. 

Mr Wilkie added: "Some people came and squirted stones in some of the holes but it soon washed out so we're back to where we are.

"The tractors are trying to dodge the potholes but end up putting mud in the road. 

"They are being foolish with public money. 

"It's being wasted when all it needs is a permanent fix."

Herefordshire Council say that 133,000 square metres of C and U roads in the county have been improved as part of the Department for Transport’s £2.558m additional investment for highways.

Councillor Barry Durkin, cabinet member for roads and regulatory services, said: “Feedback we receive as a local authority shows that the condition of our roads is a huge priority for local residents and organisations.

"Back in November we announced this additional package of investment to our local C and U roads to improve connectivity and links between our rural communities. 

"We are pleased to announce that we have delivered on this promise by carrying out these works – equivalent to 15 football pitches.

“Patching repairs, followed by surface dressing of the selected roads, at an appropriate time in the life cycle of the road, is considered the most cost effective use of this funding. 

"It prevents further deterioration of roads before more extensive and more expensive repairs are needed, and can extend the life of the road surface by up to 10 years."