Today Derbyshire Labour promised an immediate injection of £1m into the road maintenance budget for emergency repairs if successful in the County Council elections in May . This will be funded by using the £1m allocated by the Conservatives to Big Society Community Action Grants in 2013/14.
Anne Western, leader of the Labour Group on Derbyshire County Council said, “Cutting back on road maintenance when the roads are in such a poor state is crazy. Reducing the winter gritting budget by £1m was absolutely ridiculous, given the bad winters we’ve had recently. A Labour-controlled Derbyshire County Council will put back the £1million the Tories stole from the gritting budget and put some emergency funding into road repairs this summer.”
This year the Conservative-led Derbyshire County Council will take another £1.9million from the road maintenance budget, as it imposes more Government cuts on the people of Derbyshire.
The latest cut brings the total taken out of this budget to over £5million in four years. This equates to a cut of 32%. In addition to this, in 2011 they reduced the winter gritting budget by £1m.
This is despite the Conservative manifesto of 2009 promising to “seek more external funding to make capital investment in new roads, provide more efficient investment in road maintenance.”
Cllr Anne Western said, “The people of Derbyshire have been let down by this Tory administration. They have broken one of their key promises to the public. They have put Derbyshire on the road to nowhere.
The cuts to the road budget are just a small part of the cuts the Conservative-led Government is imposing on the people of Derbyshire. Over the next four years, the Government will be taking £127million off the people of Derbyshire. This is in addition to £70million which has already been cut.
Cllr Anne Western added “We know times are tough, but this government is imposing the biggest cuts of all on local councils. This will inevitably affect services and have an impact on everyone, especially the most vulnerable. We have had four wasted years under a Conservative county council. The people of Derbyshire will give their verdict in May at the county council elections. We need a fair deal for Derbyshire.”