Unfairness claim over cuts, as highways blackhole is revealed

A COUNCIL battling to avoid the much-heralded pothole crisis is facing a £200m shortfall in its highways budget, it emerged today (Wednesday, January 9).

Shortly before Christmas, the Government promised the region’s councils £18m for road maintenance.

Within that total, Labour-led Durham County Council was pledged £2.8m.

However, Councillor Bob Young, cabinet member for strategic environment, said today the authority was facing a £200m shortfall to upgrade its roads, pavements and paths.

He told a full council meeting at Durham’s County Hall: “We have a major problem in highways. I’ve had a 40 per cent cut in the highways budget.”

Referring to the Government cash, he said: “It’s very welcome but I’m not at all certain it will please all members in the room today.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Ben Ord, who had raised the issue, said he realised the council had “massive problems” with potholes and he had asked Transport Minister Norman Baker to make extra funding available.

It is understood £200m is what it would cost to bring all County Durham’s highways up to the best standards.

Nationally, the highways shortfall is thought to be around £10 billion.

Coun Young’s comments came after Durham and Darlington councils announced another round of spending cuts on Tuesday.

Finance chiefs at Durham expect cuts there to top £200m by 2018, while Darlington Borough Council will have to save a further £17.3m over the next four years.

Heather Scott, leader of Darlington’s Conservative group, has written to Tory Communities Secretary Eric Pickles asking why cuts to Government grants appear to be hitting northern councils harder than those in the south.

“We support what the Government is doing in trying to deal with the deficit, but we do question the allocation of grants,” she said.

Coun Scott said Tory councillors would work with the controlling Labour group over coming months but some political argument was inevitable.

Darlington’s Labour leader Bill Dixon said the council would continue, with the Association of North East Councils, to lobby the Government on the fairness issue.

Both council’s cabinets are due to discuss spending cuts next week.

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:58pm Wed 9 Jan 13

Gamechanger says...

When Councillor Scott receives her reply, I hope she makes it public. I fear it will be the same-old venomous Tory bile.

Mr Pickles is leading the charge to re-toxify the Tories - the nasty party has returned.........
When Councillor Scott receives her reply, I hope she makes it public. I fear it will be the same-old venomous Tory bile. Mr Pickles is leading the charge to re-toxify the Tories - the nasty party has returned......... Gamechanger
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Wed 9 Jan 13

Spy Boy says...

Of course the nasty party has returned; It's because no one is standing up to them. They have long memories and can be very vindictive. Remember the miners ?
Of course the nasty party has returned; It's because no one is standing up to them. They have long memories and can be very vindictive. Remember the miners ? Spy Boy
  • Score: 0

8:28pm Wed 9 Jan 13

Gamechanger says...

Thatcher divided the public from the miners ànd cameron is trying the same tactic - north versus south, public sector versus private sector, 'scroungers' versus 'strivers'. It is evil beyond belief and is destroying this country.
Thatcher divided the public from the miners ànd cameron is trying the same tactic - north versus south, public sector versus private sector, 'scroungers' versus 'strivers'. It is evil beyond belief and is destroying this country. Gamechanger
  • Score: 0

9:08pm Wed 9 Jan 13

Darloresident says...

Gamechanger wrote:
Thatcher divided the public from the miners ànd cameron is trying the same tactic - north versus south, public sector versus private sector, 'scroungers' versus 'strivers'. It is evil beyond belief and is destroying this country.
change the record Gamechanger...
Do you think that Brown and Balls did any good for the region when they had the chance??
[quote][p][bold]Gamechanger[/bold] wrote: Thatcher divided the public from the miners ànd cameron is trying the same tactic - north versus south, public sector versus private sector, 'scroungers' versus 'strivers'. It is evil beyond belief and is destroying this country.[/p][/quote]change the record Gamechanger... Do you think that Brown and Balls did any good for the region when they had the chance?? Darloresident
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Wed 9 Jan 13

5under1and says...

What did Blair ever do for the north east? The only good thing labour did was bring in the smoking ban!
What did Blair ever do for the north east? The only good thing labour did was bring in the smoking ban! 5under1and
  • Score: 0

10:43pm Wed 9 Jan 13

me2earth says...

Yet you all will still vote Labour, tory or lib dem once again being duped by their false promises.Vote UKIP for a real change
Yet you all will still vote Labour, tory or lib dem once again being duped by their false promises.Vote UKIP for a real change me2earth
  • Score: 0

10:59pm Wed 9 Jan 13

Gamechanger says...

Brown Blair and Balls had their faults but they didnt display their utter contempt for the working classes, especially in the north east in a way the tories do. They despise us. Regional pay, slash and burn of our services, tax breaks for the rich - where will it end?
Brown Blair and Balls had their faults but they didnt display their utter contempt for the working classes, especially in the north east in a way the tories do. They despise us. Regional pay, slash and burn of our services, tax breaks for the rich - where will it end? Gamechanger
  • Score: 0

11:44pm Wed 9 Jan 13

Herorich says...

Game changer, despise who? The north? What total nonsense.

The miners strike was 30 years ago - move on!

Also what have labour done for you? Spend every last penny and run up MASSIVE un affordable debts. Grow the public sector to an un sustainable size. Increase the Welfare bill by 60% by giving too many benefits to win votes ....and their proposed solution? keep spending more. It would be funny if it wasn't so frightening. Fancy ending up like Greece??
Game changer, despise who? The north? What total nonsense. The miners strike was 30 years ago - move on! Also what have labour done for you? Spend every last penny and run up MASSIVE un affordable debts. Grow the public sector to an un sustainable size. Increase the Welfare bill by 60% by giving too many benefits to win votes ....and their proposed solution? keep spending more. It would be funny if it wasn't so frightening. Fancy ending up like Greece?? Herorich
  • Score: 0

10:42am Thu 10 Jan 13

fracker says...

At least labour didn't kill of disabled people to save money.
At least labour didn't kill of disabled people to save money. fracker
  • Score: 0

4:16pm Thu 10 Jan 13

Darloresident says...

fracker wrote:
At least labour didn't kill of disabled people to save money.
Kill disabled people? what on earth are you talking about??
[quote][p][bold]fracker[/bold] wrote: At least labour didn't kill of disabled people to save money.[/p][/quote]Kill disabled people? what on earth are you talking about?? Darloresident
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree