£1.2m fund won’t fill £126m pothole

Mark Spencer meets residents in Blidworth
Mark Spencer meets residents in Blidworth

A £1.2m government grant to tackle potholes in Nottinghamshire has been welcomed in Hucknall.

But opposition councillors say the fund is far outweighed by £126m of cuts to Nottingham County Council over the last five years.

The dedicated £1.2m pothole fund is part of a wider package totalling £8.1m across the East Midlands.

Sherwood MP Mark Spencer said: “The state of roads and pavements is something that is constantly raised with me and really frustrates drivers, including me. More funding is obviously great news and I hope the county council use it wisely so we can see the benefits here in Sherwood.

“The announcement shows that we are delivering on our commitment to invest in infrastructure to support local people, attract businesses and secure a better future.”

Labour county councillor for Hucknall Alice Grice said: “Whilst we welcome this funding for road repairs, let’s not kid ourselves that this is the solution to all our problems.

“Since 2011 the government has cut funding to Nottinghamshire County Council by over £126m. Mark Spencer might like to make out that his government are doing Nottinghamshire a favour, but the reality is they’re giving with one hand and taking over 100 times that with the other. With £126m reduction in funding and the ever increasing pressure on social care, this so called ‘extra’ money, won’t go very far at all.

“If Mark Spencer is serious about ensuring our roads can be kept to the standard that residents expect, and all other council services don’t suffer further, I suggest he goes back to parliament and makes the case for proper funding for roads, schools, health and social care.”

The cash is part of a £1.2 billion fund - £75m of which councils can bid for to repair and maintain bridges, street lighting and rural roads - with £8.1m earmarked for the East Midlands.

Coun John Wilmott, of the Hucknall First Community Forum, said the Local Government Association had called for a further £1bn to tackle problems caused by long term underfunding of road surfaces as heavy traffic is predicted to increase 55 per cent by 2040.

He said the result was a “constant battle repairing problem areas which pose a risk to everyone cyclists and pedestrians alike.”