Government cuts to maintenance budgets could leave 30,000 potholes unfixed
Liberal Democrat councillors have condemned a freeze in funds given to councils to carry out road and pavement maintenance as "a real-terms cut that could leave 30,000 potholes unfixed".
On 28 February the Government announced their plans to freeze road maintenance funding for local councils for the next three years. For 2022/23 the funding to North Somerset has been frozen at £4.4 million. This follows a cut of 25% from the nearly £6 million in funding given in 2020/21.
The Government funding cuts could mean as many as 30,000 fewer potholes can be fixed in the coming years.
Councillor Mike Bell, the Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader of North Somerset Council, said: "The government's decision to not fill our highways maintenance funding gap is very disappointing and will continue to put pressure on already stretched council budgets and the condition of our roads and pavements.
"Councils rely on this funding to carry out vitally important road and pavement repairs and maintain the condition of our infrastructure. With a backlog of road repairs built up under previous councils and rising labour and material costs, this freeze in funding is a real terms cut that could leave 30,000 potholes unfixed.
"Whilst the government continues to fail local councils and slash road maintenance budgets, we are prioritising frontline services and investing despite ever increasing pressure on council finances. By careful management of our budgets, we have been able to put an extra £2.5 million of council taxpayers' cash into road repairs this year - but it is not enough, and we need the government to listen and prioritise these basic investments."