Two councils are refusing to pay their contribution towards resurfacing works in Bideford until the work is brought up to scratch.

Bideford mayor Dermot McGeough said Bideford Town and Torridge District councils were both unhappy with the work on Mill Street and Allhalland Street carried out this year.

He said the new, smooth surface was needed to improve safety but the councils were not happy with the finish of it.

“When I spent a day in a wheelchair last year I found it really hard to move around on the old brick surface,” said Mr McGeough.

“This new surface is low maintenance and I don’t think it has ruined the character of the street as some traders have said,” said Mr McGeough.

The new surface on Mill Street in Bideford.The new surface on Mill Street in Bideford.

“But we are not happy with the finish of it and we’ve told Devon County Council we’re withholding the money until it is sorted.”

Problems include tarmac sprayed up the side of buildings in the streets, and the surface edging not being finished off neatly.

Mr McGeough said: “I’m also calling on businesses to take pride in their town, now this surface is done it would be nice to see some of the buildings tidied up.”

A Devon County Council spokesman said: “The work on the scheme overall is of a high standard, however, there is a small area of defective surfacing outside of the Heavitree Arms where the contractor will be carrying out remedial work.

“The scheme is still a work in progress with the contractor also due to clean channels and shop entrances in a number of areas.

“The choice of material to replace the failing block paving was a joint decision made by all partners in the scheme.

“We have all been very clear from the start that the silver granite stone added to the tarmac, to give a speckled appearance, will not become apparent until the surface has worn in.

“It’s likely to be another six months before it’s visible.”