Independents say Tory claims of extra £4m for Nottinghamshire roads is really only £400,000

Members of the opposition Independent Alliance at Nottinghamshire Council have poured scorn on the ruling Conservatives claims that they will be spending an extra £4m on the county’s roads this year.
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The Independents say the real figure is only £400,000 more than last year because the Tories had cut the roads budget by £3.6m from last year.

As a result, the Independents claim, the bulk of the extra £4m secured from the Government will be taken up replacing the moneny cut from last year’s roads budget – leaving a final total just £400,000 more than last year.

An email to the Independents, seen by your Chad, from a senior council officer, appears to confirm this.

Independent Alliance leader Coun Jason Zadrozny claims the Tories are 'misleading' the public over their £4m extra for roads claim. Photo: National WorldIndependent Alliance leader Coun Jason Zadrozny claims the Tories are 'misleading' the public over their £4m extra for roads claim. Photo: National World
Independent Alliance leader Coun Jason Zadrozny claims the Tories are 'misleading' the public over their £4m extra for roads claim. Photo: National World

It says: “The 2023-24 road maintenance and renewal programme totals £30.2m

"The 2024-25 proposed road maintenance and renewal programme totals £30.6m (£26.6m in the approved capital programme plus a further £4m as set out in paragraph 57 of the budget report to cabinet).”

Paragraph 57 of the cabinet budget report reads: “In addition to recent Government announcements on funding, the council will also set aside extra funding into our highway.

"Consequently, it is proposed that the council invests a further £4m in highways during 2024-25, over and above the contract inflation set out in Appendix A, to further improve the condition of roads across the county.”

But the Independents claim the Tories are trying to imply that this is £4m on top of the total £30.6m earmarked for roads this year.

The Independents put forward an amendemt that proposed selling land at Toton Station that was intended for the now-scrapped HS2 northern leg project, which they said would raise an extra £20m to spend on repairing the county’s roads.

This was defeated, however, as Conservative and Labour councillors voted against it.

Coun Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind), Independent Alliance leader, said: “Time and time again, the Conservatives announced that they were spending an extra £4m on fixing our broken roads and pavements.

"This is categorically not true.

"They reduced the road maintenance and renewal programme by £3.6m this year, compared to last year.

"They then announced £4m ‘extra’ – which means they are actually only spending £400,000 extra.

"They are misleading residents.”

Coun Richard Jackson, cabinet member for finance & resources, replied: “At the budget meeting the Independent Alliance ended up voting for the Conservative budget proposals, which demonstrates that the Alliance’s land-selling budget amendment was nothing more than another attention-seeking publicity stunt.”

“Now they’re attacking the same budget they voted for, and seeking to mislead people again.

“Three years ago, the Conservative administration agreed to increase the council’s road maintenance budget by investing an extra £12m above normal levels.

"Given the well-publicised level of demand, most of that money has now been spent, meaning the budget this year could have fallen, but we’re investing a further £4m to maintain next year the enhanced level of spending seen in the current year.”

“That means we’ve now invested an extra £16m on road maintenance over the course of this administration, £4m more than originally planned, not to mention the extra £8m separately announced by Government over the past year.

“That’s presumably why the Independent Alliance supported the Conservatives’ proposal, even though their public comments might lead residents to think otherwise.”