SIR – I recently had occasion to visit a town called Pembroke Dock, South Wales – a place I had visited many times in my youth to visit my aunt and grandmother.

In those days it was a very active dock, with shipbuilding and repair, and the largest base in the UK for Sunderland flying boats, and I remember it as a bustling affluent place. Unfortunately the flying boats have long gone, and there appears to be minimal work in the dock, with an occasional ferry to Ireland.

The air of affluence no longer seems present, but the state of the roads and highways put Oxfordshire to shame. There is evidence of resurfacing in many areas, and little sign of any unfilled potholes. Even the minor roads were in good repair, with hedgerows and verges neatly clipped, with no overhanging branches, bushes, or brambles causing obstruction to traffic.

Oxfordshire Highways by contrast, in my 75 years, are in the worst and most unacceptable condition I can remember.

With Oxfordshire being considered an affluent area, and home to the prime minister’s constituency, I am left asking myself why.

Why are the roads being left to deteriorate to such a disgusting state, with numerous unfilled potholes and broken road surfaces?

Why does the Highways Authority refuse to fill a pothole unless it is more than 40mm deep?

Why are bushes, branches and brambles being allowed to encroach onto the highways in a number of areas?

The answer to the above questions is probably lack of money. If this is the case, then how does a less-than-affluent area in Wales manage to provide road conditions far superior to Oxfordshire.

Perhaps some of the £12 billion (0.7 per cent GDP) foreign aid funds could be utilised – the highest amount of foreign aid of any country in Europe – bearing in mind it is estimated that some 40 per cent of this total goes on administration and consultancy fees, with money also going to some corrupt governments and many millions still being given to India, which has a stronger economy than ourselves and can even afford its own space programme. Thousands of pounds have also been given to support an all-female pop group in a Muslim country, along with many other examples of dubious spending.

When our roads need repair, flood defences are required in numerous parts of the country, elderly day care centres are closing, plus a host of other cutbacks, I would like to see more of our tax payers’ money utilised to offset some of the problems in our country.

I would emphasise that I am not against foreign aid, but I am against waste incompetence and inferior public services.

Clive Pickett