Calls for £1 million more for Ashfield roads in council funding row

Ashfield Independent councillors have launched a campaign to get an extra £1 million spent on roads and pavements every year in the district - claiming Ashfield has been short-changed in cash for roads over the last ten years.

Tuesday, 15th November 2016, 5:45 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:23 pm

Councillor Jason Zadrozny says information he has obtained from the Highways Authority shows that Ashfield has been short-changed in cash for roads over the last ten years.

But Nottinghamshire County Council chiefs have slammed the figures as misleading.

Campaigner for Sutton Central and East, Samantha Deakin said “This information proves what we have all known locally for a long time. Everyone in Sutton and Kirkby can see our roads and pavements are in a shocking state, now we can see why, we haven’t been getting our fair share of the cash that our area needs.

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The figures show that between 2006 and 2016 Ashfield District’s Carriageway Patching was £1.4million less that Rushcliffe, £2.4million less than Bassetlaw and £3.3 million less than Newark. The total spend was £26million and there are seven Nottinghamshire District Councils so Ashfield has lost out by at least £1million.

The independents claim the story is the same for pavements where the total spend over ten years was £14.4million. Ashfield received only £1.8million.

The Ashfield Independents say they will be writing to every household in the new year with a petition calling on the Council to fairly redistribute Highways spending.

Samantha Deakin added: “We pay the highest Council Tax in the country; we deserve to have some of that money spent in our own area.”

“Our roads and pavements are a national disgrace. If the Ashfield Independents win enough County Council seats here next May we will ensure that our District gets £1 million more every single year to spend on roads.

Gary Wood, Group Manager for Environment and Highways, at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “Comparing these figures in this way paints a misleading picture of the reality of the situation related to road maintenance across Nottinghamshire.

“Highways maintenance funding is allocated based on detailed surveys of road condition across the county. The districts are of varying geographical sizes and road length varies in each district. We also constantly monitor the state of our roads measuring factors such as the surface condition.

“For example, Ashfield’s road length makes up 10.5 per cent - or one tenth - of the county road network total.

“In comparison, Rushcliffe makes up 16.4 per cent of the county road network;

Bassetlaw makes up 22.4 per cent of the county road network - almost a quarter of the county road network - and Newark and Sherwood makes up 19.1 per cent of the road network - around a fifth of the county road network. Therefore, there will always be differences in the amount of money allocated for each district – based on the needs of the roads and associated maintenance required in each district.

“This work is also carried out against the backdrop of severe funding cuts to local authorities from central Government.

“Furthermore, these figures do not include capital funding which is spent on major roads projects and infrastructure improvements on our roads in Nottinghamshire.”

Labour chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council transport and highways committee Councillor Kevin Greaves, added: “We have made major investments in Ashfield, including the investment and works in Kirkby Town Centre of £250,000, the investment and development of Hucknall Town Centre of £12.9 million, the Rolls Royce development of £3.5 million and the £80,000 for improvements to the A611, none of which are included in the figures presented.”