Minister asked to look into council’s Storm Desmond repair delays

Councillor James Airey, the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Westmorland and Lonsdale, has written to the Local Government Minister asking him to review Cumbria County Council’s management of £117.6 million provide by the Government for road and bridge repairs in the immediate aftermath of Storm Desmond.

The call comes after days of disruption to residents and businesses in Kendal following the emergency closure of Victoria Bridge in the town which has now re-opened to traffic after work by engineers – repairs which the council knew were needed three years ago.

In October 2018, the county council revealed that, at that time, more than a third of the £117.6 million provided to the local authority remained unused and that over 200 road and bridges in South Lakeland were still awaiting permanent repair.

Now, following the chaos caused by the closure of Victoria Bridge, councillor Airey has asked the Government to review Cumbria County Council’s management of this funding and the significant delays the local authority has put in place to the permanent repair of damaged roads and bridges following Storm Desmond.

Councillor James Airey said: “Victoria Bridge has thankfully re-opened thanks to the sterling effort of engineers who have been working around the clock. But the question that needs to be answered is why permanent repair work on this major bridge in Kendal was not done much earlier. It’s just not good enough and businesses and people living in Kendal deserve much better.”