Extra £1m earmarked to fix county pothole problem
AN EXTRA £1 million will be invested in fixing Gloucestershire’s pothole problem.
Councillors agreed yesterday to allocate the money to a county council fix fund now worth £5.9 million.
The latest additional cash has been made available from the council’s reserves after the authority gained more certainty that it will recoup the money it lost as a result of the Icelandic banking collapse.
Liberal Democrat councillors had asked for £4 million to be taken from reserves in June of this year to fix the county’s roads and the issue was looked at by a working group.
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The result is that the council has determined it can dip its hand into its reserves to the tune of £1 million.
The £1 million will be spent in 2013/14, while the overall £5.9 million figure represents the extra financial commitment agreed by the council to fix roads, over and above the standard highways budget, in this calendar year.
The vote to set aside the money was unanimous – but that didn’t stop councillors squabbling.
Liberal Democrat members expressed their disappointment that the Conservative administration did not tell them about the extra money in advance of yesterday’s meeting.
Councillor Paul Hodgkinson (LD, Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach) said: “This money has come out of the blue with no communication.”
Councillor Ray Theodoulou (Fairford and Lechlade on Thames), cabinet member for finance and change, replied: “There is the suggestion that we acted in bad faith but that is not the case.
“I'm not in the position to consult with the shadows (shadow cabinet members) at every turn of event.
“We have kept them informed as changes come, but we will not be doing that every time there is a dot or a comma that needs to be corrected.”
The council’s cabinet will be asked to sign off spending the £1 million figure when it meets on Wednesday.