Tory plans to spend £1.8m on road and pavement repairs thrown out

Calls for a council to dig into its coffers to pay for a £2m pothole repairs have been rejected.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 7:00 am
A bid by Conservative councillors to spend £1.8m on roads and pavements has been rejected by the Labour-controlled council.

Conservative members demanded North Tyneside Council use £1.8m from its reserve funds to carry out urgent repairs.

At last week’s full council meeting Conservative councillor Ken Barrie, who represents Cullercoats, called for the cash to be used to match Government potholes funding.

But the proposal was rejected after Labour councillors said the authority was already going “above and beyond” to maintain the highways network.

Coun Barrie said: “This council has £20m in usable reserves. I ask the mayor to use some of these reserves towards fixing pavements.”

Seconding the motion, Tynemouth councillor Chris Johnston said the money asked for is a “small proportion” of the reserves.

He also pointed to the “real cost” of damaged pavements, after one of his North Shields constituents tripped and fell on raised paving stone in Linskill Terrace, causing her to require extensive dental treatment.

Coun Johnston continued: “This lady’s quality of life has been irreparably damaged because of our poorly maintained pavements.

“The real cost is also the cost to the tax payer of the months of NHS treatment this lady has had to endure and the cost to North Tyneside Council itself should her pending litigation be successful.”

He added that drivers who are forced to “weave between potholes” and while cyclists have been swerving in traffic in bid to pass the pitfalls.

He added: “Quite simply cycling on the roads of North Tyneside is not safe.”

Sandra Graham, cabinet member for environment, said the council spent £24m on highway works in the past five years.

The cash for this, she said, comes from a variety of sources. These include local transport plan capital funding from the Government of which the council got £2.524m this financial year.

The Government also gave the council £1.8m in 2021 to spend on pothole repairs

She said: “This investment has resulted in around 56 miles of roads being resurfaced, 350 individual foot way improvement schemes and over 100 drainage improvement schemes.

“However, it should be noted that this would not have been achieved without the additional £2m annual council investment and we would have had a deteriorating highway network if reliant on LTP funding alone.”