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Prudent Budgeting Means Boost For Highways Maintenance

Published: 9th July 2012 11:37
The council is set to use part of a planned underspend, which was achieved in the financial year 2011/12, to give a welcome boost to highways maintenance. The £16.5 million underspend on the revenue budget is a significant achievement and part of the council's response to government funding reductions which are expected to continue into 2016/17.

Prudent Budgeting Means Boost For Highways Maintenance

The council is set to use part of a planned underspend, which was achieved in the financial year 2011/12, to give a welcome boost to highways maintenance.

The £16.5 million underspend on the revenue budget is a significant achievement and part of the council's response to government funding reductions which are expected to continue into 2016/17.

At its next meeting on 17 July, the council's cabinet is recommended to approve allocating £3.3 million of this sum for additional highways maintenance to repair and improve the area's road network.

Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of the council, said: "Road maintenance remains a significant pressure because of the size of the network in the East Riding and the continuing impact of the severe winter weather in recent years.

"It is also one of the top priorities identified by our residents through budget consultations and it is good that the council can respond so positively as a result of prudent financial management.

"Prioritising highways maintenance is not new and we have already put in considerable additional funds over and above normal budgets to carry out essential repair work: an extra £500,000 was allocated in the 2011/12 budget and previously the council found £1.4 million from contingency funds to respond to the impact on the roads of the terrible weather we had at the end of 2010.

"We also secured £2.4 million from a special central government funding pot for road repairs."

As well as the cash injection for highways maintenance, the cabinet will be asked to approve allocating £5 million of the planned underspend to support the capital programme, used to improve essential infrastructure like housing, schools and roads, and currently valued at £253 million over the next four years.

An additional £6.3 million is earmarked to help in managing the budget pressures on adult social care that result from the East Riding's growing population of older people and to invest in further transformation of the authority in order to achieve significant ongoing budget savings.

Councillor Parnaby said: "East Riding of Yorkshire Council has not been treated differently in terms of government funding reductions but through planning ahead and robust financial management we have been able to mange the consequences much better than most other local authorities.

"The council has saved key services like leisure centres, libraries, children's centres and our residential care homes and day centres from service reductions and closures whilst maintaining expenditure on the voluntary and community sector at £22 million per annum - a really commendable achievement in the present financial climate."

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