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Postponed pothole solution would create jobs in East Sussex

August 5, 2013 8:54 PM
By East Sussex Liberal Democrats

SEFSNews release from East Sussex Lib Dems

A Liberal Democrat proposal to create jobs and invest £2m windfall money in a programme of properly patching potholes has been deferred by East Sussex County Council.

At the recent Full Council meeting, Councillor Mike Blanch (LD Hampden Park) called for a radical approach to focus on the tens of thousands of potholes in roads across the County. "There is huge public concern, The County Council overspent its roads repair budget last winter by £750,000, doing emergency repairs which can't and don't last. Doing the job properly with patching will save money and create jobs. Not doing the work means a huge risk, in wasted money though the winter, claims for damages to vehicles and loss of reputation. Government has allocated another £1.5m for work this year, but the money seems to have run out."

Overall the County Council under-spent its budget last year by £12 million, at least £3m was an unexpected windfall, and Lib Dems propose that £2m of this be put to properly patching potholes, matching the Government contribution.

St Mary's Road

St Mary's Road, Hastings

The proposal was not approved at Full Council: Conservatives placed a wrecking amendment to defer action until next year. Leading members of UKIP said that there was no problem with potholes. The Hastings Labour councillors accused Lib Dems of trying to "shanghai" the council.

Eventually a compromise amendment saw this proposal deferred to a Cabinet meeting in September.

"At election time last May all political parties promised to try and sort out the potholes" said Lib Dem leader David Tutt, "yet now some want to put off action for a year and others even deny there is a problem! So if you really want something to happen, write to the Leader of the County Council with your views, contact your local councillor, ensure your voice is heard!"

Nick Perry, Lib Dem parliamentary spokesman for Hastings & Rye said, "It is disappointing to learn from David Tutt that Hastings Labour councillors were not prepared to work with Liberal Democrats to make these monies accessible now, and achieve repairs for our roads sooner. This solution will create jobs. It should have been backed by Labour."