Opposition to £1m cut in fixing Norfolk’s roads

County councillors raised concerns that cuts to the highways maintenance budget will lead to more potholes. County councillors raised concerns that cuts to the highways maintenance budget will lead to more potholes.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
6:30 AM

We need to think again before slashing £1m from the budget for maintenance on Norfolk’s roads - that was one of the messages from county councillors after discussing proposals to make cuts.

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Norfolk County Council’s controlling Labour/Liberal Democrat administration has put forward £140m of cuts for the next three years, through its Putting People First Consultation.

They say those cuts are needed because reductions in funding from the government means the council has to plug a £189m financial hole.

At yesterday’s meeting of the environment, transport and development committee, councillors got the chance to look at what the public think of some of the proposed cuts.

Among the savings proposed are:

• Cutting the cost of providing school transport to save £330,000

• Reducing the subsidy for the CoastHopper bus service by £150,000 over two years

• Reducing highway maintenance for one year to save £1m.

• Charging at some recycling centres and reducing some of their opening hours.

Overall, there were 2,583 responses to the proposals relating to the environment, transport, development and waste portfolio, with the recycling centre charges and opening times, plus the CoastHopper cuts, the proposals which sparked most responses.

Officers said Stagecoach was taking over running the CoastHopper service in the summer and negotiations over a service in the winter were ongoing.

Charging for recycling and taking £1m out of the highways maintenance budget sparked concern among councillors. Conservative Martin Wilby said: “The main concern is pot holes and we are very concerned about cutting £1m from that budget. For me it would be a good thing if we could prevent cutting that money.”

The committee agreed to make clear to the cabinet that the panel is against the £1m saving from the highways maintenance budget; the reduction in refilling grit bins; the recycling charges and that the parish council contribution to schemes under the parish partnership fund - a scheme which hands out cash for small highways projects - should remain at 25pc.

Labour county councillor Bert Bremner attacked that recommendation, saying that the council had no choice but to make cuts, no matter how unpalatable, and accused those who voted for it of “not living in reality”.

The council’s cabinet will consider the panel’s recommendation when it meets on Monday, January 27.

• What’s your view on the decision? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

9 comments

  • Unsustainable whining from Clllr.s with a one track mind. But no worries Eric Pickles will save the Tory's when he announces that the incinerator is scrapped, just before the EU and District elections, although I expect such a ruse to fail and UKIP to benefit from such electioneering.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Had roads been maintained adequately year on year then perhaps skipping a year may not have been such a big deal. The last time I drove out of King's Lynn on the A47 towards the Middleton turn off, the whole surface of the road looked like that in this picture, and we haven't had any cold weather yet for the freeze thaw action to really break it up. The desperate and short sighted cuts being proposed now will require a larger financial outlay in the longer term, but then I suppose Nobbs and his cabinet chums can do what they want, they must know they will all be out at the end of his year, then he can go back to opposing the very things he’s backed while Leader. Is that what you mean by transparency George?

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    Honest John

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • ".....for the next three years, through its Putting People First Consultation." Since when has NCC ever put the people first ?. As for savings, try cutting the jobsworths, non jobbers, council pensions, councillors expenses & pay before cutting services

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    "V"

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • The Conservatives have woken up to attack the cuts in pot hole fixing, probably in fear of damage to their 4x4s. You'll note they have little to say about all of the other cuts which are likely to harm services such as social care.

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    Jeffrey Osborne

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Funny how NCC doesnt tell us how much they have in the reserve fund ?

    Report this comment

    "V"

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • Panic - unfortunately it won't. The "road tax" (properly the Road Fund Licence and based on the polution created by the vehicle, which is why electric cars and cyclists pay none) goes into general taxation, which is also where the money to pay for road schemes comes from. If NCC really want to cut costs and save money, scrap the incinerator (export the waste to Holland's incinerators - it's cheaper) and forget the NDR. Both are colossal wastes of money and will fill the funding whole immediately.

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    So_Many_Haters!

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • JO - Perhaps the Conservatives have realised that if you don't repair the roads the number of damaged vehicles and accidents will increase. These claims will be made against the Council and likely cost more than the repairs to the roads.

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    Andy T

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • I'm sad to say I sold my car in December last year as my wife and could not stand the lumps and bumps of driving on our roads. We have now joined the 4x4s I'm afraid. It is sad that I require a 4 wheel drive SUV to drive in comfort. Anyway my extra Road tax should help the road repair coffers.

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    Panic

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

  • They should not be allowed to build new roads until the existing ones are sorted. This is probably another £1m going towards the NDR.

    Report this comment

    Marigold

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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