Town given £300k to repair potholes
5:30am Saturday 21st June 2014 in By Mike Benke, @Michael_Benke
THE Government yesterday said Swindon Council is to receive more than £300,000 in extra funding to deal with potholes.
In total, Swindon will get £317,360 which must go towards fixing holes in the road.
Council leaders have welcomed the cash boost, which they say is a useful addition to funds already set aside.
However, the Labour group has said it is not enough to fully deal with the problem and more needs to be done.
The issue of potholes is a regular gripe of drivers because of the damage it causes to cars, and regularly tops the political agenda in Swindon.
In the Budget, the Chancellor set aside a pot of £185m and asked local authorities to bid for cash. More than 140 applied so money was given to all of them.
A number of conditions have been attached to the money, including that councils must publish quarterly reports of progress in repairing the holes.
Council leader David Renard said: “Any assistance to deal with potholes is always welcome. At this stage we need to assess exactly how we can spend the money and then we will go forward from there.
“When we knock on doors one of the issues brought up most often is that of potholes so we know it is very important to people and it is a priority of this council.
“That is why when we had a surplus left over from last year’s budget we committed £350,000 to dealing with potholes. We understand the problem this can create for many drivers.”
The leader of the Swindon Labour Group said he wanted more to be done.
Coun Jim Grant (Lab, Rodbourne Cheney) said: “While all additional money available for pothole repairs is welcome, the £300,000 provided to Swindon Council is simply not enough to deal with the remaining potholes in the town. In fact it will barely make a dent on reducing the number of potholes in the town.
“The state of Swindon’s roads is one of the biggest challenges this council faces and is the biggest concern councillors hear on the doorstep. They can be dangerous and cost motorists from the damage they do to their cars.
“What we pledged during the recent local election campaign is to use £2m of New Homes Bonus money to resurface our town’s roads. That way we can not only repair the potholes but ensure our road surfaces are in such a condition that new potholes are less likely to arise.”
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