Thousands of potholes on Dudley roads will be repaired over the coming months after council bosses pledged additional funding to improve borough streets.
Around £200,000 of the money saved by the council following its Big Question council tax consultation is to be re-directed to help tackle potholes blighting the borough’s road network.
After months of consulting through the Big Question council tax consultation, Dudley Council has proposed a council tax freeze. And decision makers claim the £6,000 spent on running the consultation has been worth every penny and removed the need to spend £350,000 on running a referendum over any council tax rise.
And now they have made the announcement that the £200,000 saved will go into supporting work to repair potholes and highway defects. The £200,000 is in addition to £549,400 already in the budget specifically for potholes. This represents a 36 per cent increase in the budget directly dedicated to potholes and takes the total to around three quarters of a million pounds.
The council already repairs around 18,000 square metres of potholes and highway defects each year and the additional funding will help fill an extra 6,500 square metres.
Councillor Judy Foster, cabinet member for transportation, said:
“Last year was one of the wettest and coldest on record and the recent snowfall and freezing conditions have impacted on the condition of roads across the country. In Dudley we are committed to repairing potholes for motorists and we are delighted to be adding this funding to the pot.”
Councillor Pete Lowe, cabinet member for finance, said:
“This goes to show the value of holding meaningful consultation with residents. By spending a small amount on asking residents for their views on the council tax we have removed the need to spend £350,000 of our budget on a referendum. From our consultation we also know that road maintenance is highly valued and this is why we have decided to use the money we have saved to help support work in filling thousands more potholes.”
Dangerous potholes or defects are repaired by Dudley Council within 24 hours of notification and others are added to the authority’s programme of works accordingly.
Meanwhile a further £150,000 will be saved after the council decided to scale back car parking charges that had been proposed at small out of town car parks. Twenty two small car parks across the borough will now continue to be free, thanks to the saving, while just seven car parks in areas where other pay and display car parks are already in place will now also become paid for parking spaces.
The proposals will go to a meeting of the full council for ratification next Monday (March 4).