Figures revealed by Cumbria’s Labour and Liberal Democrat County Council show that the ‘cash-strapped’ authority has failed to spend a penny of nearly £3 million in emergency pothole repair funding which it received from the Government almost three months ago.
In April 2018, the Government provided £2.89 million in extra pothole-repair cash to the Labour and Liberal Democrat administration. The revelation that the county council has not still not used the Government money to repair local roads was unearthed in response to a Freedom of Information request.
In its response the council, which raised council tax by 3.99 per cent this year – the maximum allowed – says it is still deciding which potholes to repair with the extra funding.
Councillor James Airey, the Conservative group leader on Cumbria County Council, said: “This is yet another worrying example of the county council’s inability to spend extra Government funding that it receives.
“Why has the council spent almost three months deciding which potholes need to be repaired? I’m sure drivers and residents in South Lakeland could have told them in three minutes.
“The revelation that council has not spent a single penny of the £2.9 million it received in April for pothole repairs, comes hot on the heels of last week’s news that Government funding for improvements in South Lakeland at Lonsdale Terrace in Ulverston has had to be reallocated to other schemes because the council did not get its plans in place on time.
“We need road and other infrastructure improvements in South Lakeland to create good jobs and prosperity. When our Labour and Liberal Democrat council receives Government funding for improvements, they are too often caught sitting on their hands to the detriment of our area and the people who live here.”