Roads and Pavements Renewal saved by Liberal Democrat/Labour amendment

19 Dec 2023
Pothole Hitsquad

A joint Liberal Democrat and Labour amendment has stopped the Mayor’s planned £1.2 million cut to the roads and pavements maintenance budget proposed by the Conservatives at the last Council meeting.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Henry Vann who proposed the amendment said “This vital amendment removes the £1.2 million cut to roads and pavement maintenance that the Mayor and his Conservative cabinet put forward at the last meeting. They made misleading comments undermining this democratic process after the last meeting, but now residents can see for themselves the success of these checks and balances that are built into the council constitution. This process, through our amendments, has delivered more funding for crucial road and pavement renewal, as well as securing funds for key projects such as new GP surgeries and refurbishing leisure facilities.

“At the same time, by removing the Mayor’s vanity project of a new leisure centre at the cost of millions of pounds of extra loans, taxpayers have been protected from paying off this debt for decades to come. Less money spent on repaying loans is more money to provide vital frontline services.”

At the previous Full Council, the Conservatives’ Capital Programme was sent back to them to think again through the Council’s usual conflict resolution procedure. Full Council deemed the extra millions of borrowing to fund projects such as the Mayor’s leisure village to be excessive and councillors were also unhappy with the lack of business cases on major projects.

Councillor Vann added “It’s fantastic that our amendment was able to get unanimous support from across the Council. This is a triumph for the council’s checks and balances. We have been able to throw out the Mayor’s reckless increase in borrowing and bring in funding for GPs in Wootton, Wixams, Kempston and Great Barford, guarantee funding for a Muslim cemetery and stop the Conservatives £1.2 million cut to roads and pavements maintenance. A big win for residents.”