Is enough spent on Hertfordshire road maintenance?

PUBLISHED: 09:22 06 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:34 07 March 2017

Councillor Malcolm Cowan

Councillor Malcolm Cowan

Archant

A war of statistics has broken out over whether spending on Hertfordshire road maintenance has gone up or down over the last five years.

After the Conservative cabinet said spending would rise in 2017/18, sceptical WGC Lib Dem county councillor Malcolm Cowan asked officers for figures going back to 2013/14.

He told the Welwyn Hatfield Times the answers show that total spending in 2017/18 would be £30.1million, 23 per cent less than the £39.2.1million spent in 2013/14.

He said: “Spending on highways has plummeted. This is despite inflation, meaning that less can be done for the same amount of money,

“No wonder local residents are complaining more and more about pot-holed roads and trip hazards on pavements.”

However, Conservative councillor Ralph Sangster, deputy cabinet member for highways, produced a rival analysis, concluding that expenditure has risen from £51.4million to £60.2million over the period.

He said: “We increased spending this year, 2016/17, by almost £11million pounds compared with the previous year, excluding major projects. This coming year we will increase spending once again by a further £3.7 million to the highest level it has ever been.”

Councillor Sangster claimed the Lib Dem figures were misleading because they excluded work funded by the Government through the Local Enterprise Partnership.

But Councillor Cowan claimed in turn the Tory figures were inappropriate as they included expenditure on lighting and bridges.

Labour borough councillor Pankit Shah said that whichever figures were better, County Hall was not spending enough on road maintenance, leading to potholes spreading across Hatfield.


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