Cash to fix roads is slashed
IPSWICH is being starved of money to maintain its roads and pavements according to new figures released today by the borough.A senior member of the borough's administration pointed out that the squeeze had tightened since the borough's application for unitary status had been put on hold.
IPSWICH is being starved of money to maintain its roads and pavements according to new figures released today by the borough.
A senior member of the borough's administration pointed out that the squeeze had tightened since the borough's application for unitary status had been put on hold.
Andrew Cann is leader of the Liberal Democrat group at the borough and chairman of the council's scrutiny committee.
His committee discussed a report which showed the amount the county spends on road maintenance in Ipswich has more than halved since the Conservatives took power at Endeavour House in 2005.
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In that year £2.1 million was spent on maintaining the borough's roads. During the next financial year just £1 million has been earmarked for maintenance.
The report, prepared by senior officers and councillors at the borough, warns: “The design life of much of the existing carriageway and footway has been exceeded leaving large lengths in need of reconstruction, particularly on the residential streets.
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“Current investment levels by SCC in Ipswich have seen the condition worsen.”
It warns that the state of the town's roads and pavements is seen as a weakness for Ipswich.
Mr Cann said it looked as if Ipswich's roads budget was being targeted by the county council after the borough's application for unitary status was put on hold at the end of last year.
He said: “Highways maintenance is an area of county spending that has come under pressure, but the amount spent in Ipswich has fallen much more than that spent in other parts of the county.
“You don't really need any politicians to make any comment about this, it's all written down here in black and white.
“But what is significant if you look at spending patterns over the last few years is that the amount being spent in Ipswich has been cut significantly now following the unitary announcement.”
Suffolk highways spokesman Guy McGregor said Ipswich was not being singled out - roads budgets were stretched across the county.
He said: “The final budget for next year has not been settled, but I can assure everyone in Ipswich that the town will have enough to meet its needs.
“We are pressing ahead with the 'Ipswich for the 21st century' bid which will do much to transform the transport system in the town,” he added.