Devon County Council Conservatives voted unanimously, at the recent Council Cabinet meeting, to close the mobile library service and to ‘save’ the princely sum of £217,000.
Now we know how many (pot)holes it takes to fill Westminster Hall
So the Conservative Government have deployed, yet again, one of their favourite tricks… rolling up a decade’s worth of theoretical spending and publishing a big number they hope people will think is expenditure now.
The much-publicised figure of £8.3 billion to be spent on road resurfacing is projected expenditure over the next 11 years. Setting to one side the issue as to whether the Conservatives are likely to be in power that long, and have to make good on this promise, it of course represents only £755 million each year. We are told the South West’s share of that will be £25.5 million, split across, at least, 5 local authorities which means a mere £5.1 million for Devon.
Devon Highways are on record as saying that £167 million needs to be spent now on bringing our roads from a ‘red’ state to an ‘amber’ state – forget getting to ‘green’. So that £5.1 million is not going to go far.
One Liberal Democrat Councillor has been told that an A-road in his division, one of Devon’s arterial roads, will not be resurfaced until 2025. You read that correctly 2025!
Many councillors are now running petitions to try and get urgent road repairs made in their wards. Conservative controlled Devon County seem to be deaf to the pleas from its own residents.
Prime Minister Sunak is on record as boasting these repairs will save drivers £440 each in repairs to vehicles, and this will help with the cost-of-living crisis. Yes really.
The RAC estimates that there is a £12 billion backlog of repairs NOW. So, £8.3 billion over 11 years, even if it happens, does not fix the problem.
We call upon the Government to get out of their ministerial limos and get serious about our roads and our country’s infrastructure. Especially here in rural Devon, where driving is the main way of getting around, we need our roads to be brought up to scratch.
Mark Wooding Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Central Devon
Cllr. Luke Taylor. Leader MDDC
Cllr. Frank Letch.
Cllr. Steve Keable
Cllr. Natalia Letch
Cllr. Sandy Chenore
Cllr. Alan Connett
Cllr. Huw Cox
Cllr. John Nutley
Cllr. Sally Morgan
Cllr. Andy Swain
Cllr. Richard Keeling
Cllr. Suzanne Sanders
Cllr. Charles Nuttall
Cllr. John Parrott
Cllr. John Farrand Rogers
Cllr. George Dexter
Cllr. Christian Martin