COLUMN: Â£20m roads budget pledge is investment in county's future
You may have recently read about - and hopefully welcomed - our plans to invest an extra Â£20m in the county's roads over the next four years.
For some time, the poor state of our roads has been the number one topic for discussion on the doorstep when we’ve been speaking to local people, which is why we pledged to make improving them a top priority when we were elected last May.
The extra investment, which will come from savings we’ve made to our capital programme, will take our total capital budget for highways to £142m over the next four years - the most spent on roads in Nottinghamshire in more than a decade.
With 2,600 miles of highway to maintain across the county, I know the extra money will not solve every problem on every road, but I am confident it will make a noticeable difference to our roads.
Priority will be given to fix the roads most likely to deteriorate in the next few years. This is a wise investment - saving money that would have been required for repairs in the longer term, avoiding compensation claims and reducing congestion.
Reluctantly, our budget for next year also includes a proposed 2.99 per cent increase in council tax and two per cent adult social care precept. This will mean an increase of just over £1 per week to the average council tax bill in Notts.
To provide some context, this increase will raise £16.4m to keep vital social care services going but is in the face of a £21.8m reduction in Government funding the county council faces next year – meaning we have a net reduction at a time when the cost of providing social care services to older people, people with disabilities and vulnerable children will increase.
Rest assured, we will continue to press the Government to provide the long term, national solution that is urgently required for properly funded social care services.