Notts ‘overlooked’ in budget, says council leader

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The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council thinks the county was overlooked for any infrastructure investment in yesterday’s budget, whilst Manchester and London cashed in.

The leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, Councillor Alan Rhodes, says Chancellor George Osborne announced a raft of investment in road and rail schemes, including £80m for Crossrail 2 in London, £50m for HS3 between Manchester and Leeds and £161m for M62 motorway upgrades around Greater Manchester.

In addition to this, there were also new Enterprise Zones announced for Cornwall, Leicestershire, Dudley and Sheffield and new devolution deals for Lincolnshire, East Anglia and the West of England.

But, according to Coun Rhodes, there was ‘nothing’ for Nottinghamshire.

He said: “Due to previous promises over economic growth not materialising, the Chancellor announced that there will be a further £3.5b cut in Government spending by 2020 and once again, we are bracing ourselves for that to translate into further, damaging cuts to funding for local council services.

“With more than 40% of the Council’s reducing budget already being spent on social care services for the elderly and disabled, it is inevitable that some of the services will, once again, but adversely affected by future cuts. Yet again, another opportunity to address the funding crisis in social care has been missed.

“To make matters worse, with that pain comes none of the gain that other areas of the country are getting through expenditure on vital infrastructure improvements and devolution of Whitehall-held budgets and powers.

“I am extremely disappointed that funding for projects such as the extension of the Robin Hood Line to Ollerton, funding for faster east-west rail services from Nottingham to Birmingham and desperately-needed new Enterprise Zones have once again not been forthcoming - despite the Chancellor previously saying that he supported them.”

But Councillor Rhodes pledged to keep on lobbying Government to get a better deal for Nottinghamshire residents and businesses.

He added: “A North Midlands Devolution deal offers us the best chance of getting the economic growth, jobs, affordable housing and infrastucture improvements our area desperately needs - and we continue to work with other Councils in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire to try and put the resources and finance into local hands.

“In the meantime though, we will continue to lobby Ministers and local MPs for funding for individual projects - we cannot and will not allow Nottinghamshire to be left behind while resources go elsewhere.”

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