29 Jun 2013
Glos County potholes helped but other services to suffer....
On June 19th at the second meeting of the ‘minority’ Conservative administration the Lib-Dems proposed a motion that GCC move £4 million from reserves (savings to you and me) to fix the ‘pot-holes’. Basically a one off short term fix for the roads, but no increase in the annual budget so we will still experience a continued deterioration in the quality of our roads and a lack of investment in the infrastructure that would make our roads easier to walk or cycle along. And to push this point the only real investment from central government into our transport network will be on roads for cars, in the case of the Forest of Dean this means a new road through some of the most bio-diverse landscape left in the County.
So a fix of £4M, it will at least provide some respite from the rash of pot-holes. Yet our road network is also a visible indicator of the impact of local government cuts, year after year of reduced settlements coupled with an administration that refuses to raise council tax.
The real impacts of the decisions taken to balance the books have yet to be felt across most of the Council provided services however the state of our roads, and I can’t believe I’m joining the pothole brigade, the state of the roads can be taken as indicative of the state of our county provided services.
That is, they are mostly still working, bits are still good there is ¼ mile of the Slad Rd that is still a joy to bike along. Yet many of our roads now hinder rather than help and occasionally bits collapse and parts of the system to grind to a halt. Emergency expensive remedial action is then required and overall the level of service provision is deteriorating.
An injection of £4M will help the roads but rest our council provided services will continue to suffer, and Council didn’t even agree to it – its been kicked into the long grass for scrutiny to consider. We might have a minority Tory administration, but it’s still business as usual.