Liberal Democrats demand reserve money for road repairs backlog
By David Bill
In response to the news that Leicestershire County Council is holding reserves of £110m, Lib Dem Councillors will be moving a motion at the Council meeting on Wednesday calling on the Tory Administration to release £3.5m to deal with blocked drains, pot holes and grass cutting which were all subject to funding cuts in the last budget.
- Recent severe weather which has resulted in many areas of the County being flooded shows that reducing the frequency of gully emptying and drainage improvements is false economy and some of the reserves sitting in the Council's coffers should be used to tackle the rising backlog of maintenance.
- The budget pushed through the Council in February by the Conservatives made cuts to highway maintenance, reducing grass cutting of verges to 9 times a year in built up areas and the emptying of road gullies to just once a year! Cuts were also made to road repairs the effect of which is starting to show across the County.
Lib Dems are also concerned about the proposed cuts to local bus services where the Council is intending to remove £750,000 from the supported bus network. The consultation process currently underway has revealed that this will affect people who depend on public transport to get to work and school. The Council has already withdrawn funding from evening and Sunday services leaving users without a service at these times.
Highways spokesman Cllr David Bill said, "These are front line services the County Council has a duty to provide. It cannot be right that basic maintenance is being cut when the Council is sitting on record levels on reserves in the bank.
Our motion also calls on the Conservatives to support the local economy by providing the access that businesses and their staff need. Properly maintained roads and public transport are as important as business investment."