December 4 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Conservative-controlled Suffolk County Council has rejected a Labour proposal to withdraw a £1 million contribution to the new section of the A14 in Cambridgeshire unless the proposed toll is scrapped.
Labour’s transport spokeswoman Sandra Gage said there was widespread opposition to the principle of imposing a toll on the A14 yet the county’s cabinet had agreed to pay £1 million from its reserves into the project at its meeting in July.
Withdrawing the offer of funding would be a clear indication to the government that the toll was unacceptable to the county.
She was backed up by her group leader Sandy Martin who said Suffolk’s contribution was “insignificant” in comparison to the total cost of the scheme – but if the council persisted with making the payment, it would be seen as an endorsement of the toll.
However county transport spokesman Graham Newman said it was vital to make the £1 million payment to secure a seat at the table discussing the road – and that position was backed by LibDem leader David Wood.
In a further debate on the subject, council leader Mark Bee said: “We strongly support the improvements (to the A14) but we oppose the toll.
“However we know that the only way we can hope to influence these proposals is to have a seat at the table. That is why we have agreed our £1 million investment.”
The Labour proposal was rejected by 47 votes to 25.