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£50m Pothole Repair Bill – Council Budget Black Hole

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  • #166663

    Matt
    Participant

    No pun intended on the council’s giant black hole in their budget.

    It was stated in the Wrexham.com article on the meeting that the current funding available for mending roads in Wrexham is set at £2.7m – I am assuming that figure is what is available for the financial year April 2019 – April 2020.

    Yet the recast budget for Highways Maintenance in 2018/2019 topped out at £6.8m, which was an overspend of £2.6m vs the original budget of £4.2m. The budget in 2017/2018 was also set at £4.2m.
    Figures taken from the 2018/2019 budget report:

    https://www.wrexham.gov.uk/assets/pdfs/financial/budget_book_1819.pdf

    So this in itself provides confusion – if we have only just started the financial year – why is there only £2.7m left to spend vs the usual £4.2m?

    Is it because there was a significant overspend last year and there is now less money available?
    Or is the rest of the normal Highways Maintenance Budget allocated to funds other than mending roads?

    This now brings me round to the fact that there’s £2.7m available to mend roads when there’s £50m worth of roads that need repairing. This is incredibly alarming as one would assume the £2.7m will need to factor any NEW potholes and road damage that occurs in the 2019/2020 period without even addressing the backlog.

    Even if that is not factored in then the Environment and Planning budget during the Difficult Decisions consultation should have identified a £47.3m budgetary shortfall in the Highways Maintenance section sending the entire Council Budget spiralling out of control.

    Let’s saying hypothetically moving forward we continued to only have £2.7m a year to fix the roads (not factoring in the costs of any future repairs). To clear the backlog it would take 18.5 years alone!

    This is surely not a tenable situation as damaged roads become more easily damaged and roads that only have the cheap fixes (which is what is being done in some cases) on them also get damaged quicker. This means that the repair budget is going to increase greater than the rate of repairs even if a greatly increased level of funding gets thrown at the roads. Not to mention the fact that logistically there would be constant roadworks and disruption everywhere to carry out the fixes. How has this been allowed to happen? It is somewhat scandalous.

    The reason I believe that a RESPONSIBLE budgeting council would have factored these road repair costs into the budget deficit is because in principle the whole reason why we have publicly owned streets rather than private roads everywhere is because we pay council tax so that the council repairs any issues with them rather than clubbing together collectively as neighbours of our own roads and paying a private contractor to keep the roads in good standing.

    It was also mentioned in the article that the council has to fill in pot holes to prevent the council being sued. What would happen if it got to the point where mass legal action was taken against them for damage or injury relating to said worsening potholes? Again, all paid for out of the public purse.

    Perhaps I’m missing something and the numbers represented aren’t as bad as the actual reality is on the ground and the long term outlook is more optimistic.

    It’s just in a normal household situation if you had bills and outgoings of £500 per month needed and you only had £27 in your pocket alarm bells would be ringing.

    Perhaps someone in the know would be able to shed some light on all this.

    #166664

    wrexview
    Participant

    There might be a black hole in the pot hole funding budget but there is still plenty of money in the yellow paint pot! More unnecessary yellow lines appeared in Garden Village ! Surely time the Council make a list of needs before they spend any more money on fripperies!

    #166668
    AMA Express
    AMA Express
    Participant

    £50m seems like a nice round figure. I wonder what fag packet that was worked out on ?

    #166669

    jimbow
    Participant

    There might be a black hole in the pot hole funding budget but there is still plenty of money in the yellow paint pot! More unnecessary yellow lines appeared in Garden Village ! Surely time the Council make a list of needs before they spend any more money on fripperies!

    Where are the unnecessary yellow lines in Garden Village?

    #166670

    DerekJackson
    Participant

    One of the points Mr Williams has not covered is how many of the road repairs are because of contractors digging up roads for telephone, electric, water and gas that are then filled with poor quality. It does not appear that the Council ever go back to a contractor for poor workmanship. Surly there must be millions they could have claimed for not bringing road surfaces back to a standard prior to a hole being dug.

    Yet again an example of the Council not having a dedicated officer to do all the follow ups — on the current basis the salary would come from the cost savings of getting road and pavements correctly reinstated.

    #166671

    MP1953
    Participant

    There might be a black hole in the pot hole funding budget but there is still plenty of money in the yellow paint pot! More unnecessary yellow lines appeared in Garden Village ! Surely time the Council make a list of needs before they spend any more money on fripperies!

    Where are the unnecessary yellow lines in Garden Village?

    I guess they are at the top end of Kenyon Avenue by the shops.

    The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

    #166674

    jimbow
    Participant

    There might be a black hole in the pot hole funding budget but there is still plenty of money in the yellow paint pot! More unnecessary yellow lines appeared in Garden Village ! Surely time the Council make a list of needs before they spend any more money on fripperies!

    Where are the unnecessary yellow lines in Garden Village?

    I guess they are at the top end of Kenyon Avenue by the shops.

    The ones by the shops have only been overpainted as they were faded. The new ones on the junction of Kenyon Avenue and Ffordd Estyn were not unnecessary, but were needed, as the parking there was dangerous.

    #167765

    Matt
    Participant

    Apparently 59 years average time to replace roads in Wales expected to last 15-20 years.

    Something doesn’t add up.

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