Following a question asked by Lydiard & Freshbrook Councillor, Matthew Courtliff, regarding the level of funding Swindon Council has spent on road maintenance, it has been discovered that Swindon Council cut its road maintenance revenue budget by £357K- a cut of nearly 30%.
This information was released following a question asked by Councillor Matthew Courtliff at the last Full Council Meeting on the 26th January, and the response from Swindon Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Cllr Keith Williams.
In 2015/16 Tory-run Swindon Council spent £1.29m on road & pavement maintenance. In 2016/17 only £937K was spent by the Council, which is a cut of nearly £400K compared to the year previous.
Councillor Courtliff says the continued cutbacks to road maintenance has had a material impact on his ward and despite the Council’s financial challenges, this area of spending was a high priority for residents. He said:
“It's incredibly disappointing that this council continues to neglect our roads, as residents feel road maintenance is one of the most basic duties it should carry out, and I have continuously campaigned for roads that are fit purpose.
While I am disappointed by the news of council cutbacks to road maintenance, I am not at all surprised. Since I’ve been elected as a councillor I have had residents from all sides of my ward ask me if the Council could repair the poor condition of their road but this year just one road has been resurfaced by the Council.
One of my elderly residents is even too frightened to leave their home, after a kerb gave way and collapsed under their foot. That’s the state some our roads are in right now with little council investment to put them right.
It's yet another sign of this council failing both its duties and its residents, and it shows that a change of administration is needed to take Swindon forward.”