A FRUSTRATED bed and breakfast owner in Marlow Bottom has become so fed up with potholes outside his business he decided to stop paying his council tax.

Paul Simmons, who runs a B&B with his wife Sue on Hill Farm Road, says he has been trying to get the deep holes near his drive fixed for over a year.

And the exasperated resident began his standoff with the council in June by cancelling his direct debit for the monthly payment in protest.

He said: "We have been living here in Marlow for 27 years and I’ve never defaulted on my council tax.

"I know the situation is across the county and it’s a big problem and I understand there are budget constraints.

"It is just so frustrating. We eventually got some people out to look at it but that was months ago. I know I was doing something a little outside of the box but I have been going on about this for years.

"It is right between the road and my driveway, a bad position considering out business as a B&B, and there are no streetlights on our road so I am fearful someone will fall in!

"I am aware there are very big problems elsewhere, but is it not too much to ask to get it sorted?"

Mr Simmons withheld his council tax for June and July, receiving reminders and ultimately a court summons from Wycombe District Council, who act as the collecting authority.

However, it is Bucks County Council which is responsible for fixing the roads, though a large proportion of council tax goes to county hall in Aylesbury.

After informing WDC he would not be paying his tax, Mr Simmons was told he could not be issued with a discount or exemption as "council Tax is a property/personal tax which is due and payable irrespective of the services you use or receive".

Transport for Buckinghamshire confirmed it sent its inspection team to Hill Farm Road in May, but found no serious 'Category 1' potholes.

However, in a victory for the couple, a spokesman for the council's roads department confirmed it will send its Jet Patcher pothole fixing machine to Hill Farm Road early next month.

Mr Simmons said he is now discussing a payment agreement with WDC with the court hearing set for this week.