Suffolk has less to spend on potholes say Greens

Pothole in Suffolk

Suffolk County Council has received £21m from the government to fix potholes. - Credit: Archant

Cuts to government funding for road maintenance in Suffolk make it impossible for the county council to make long-term plans to repair roads across the area, opposition councillors have warned.

Suffolk Green Party councillor Andrew Stringer

Green Party councillor Andrew Stringer. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Green councillor Andrew Stringer said his political group - which also includes Liberal Democrat and Independent councillors - was worried that many urgent schemes would be delayed because it was impossible to make long-term plans.

Last year the council received £31million for road repairs and drainage work - largely repairing potholes but also undertaking preventative work to stop future problems.

This year it is receiving £27m - although there had been fears earlier in the winter that there might be no help.

Mr Stringer said: "It's a bit like someone telling you that they're going to punch you twice in the face and then expecting you to be grateful if they only punch you once."

He said uncertainty about future funding meant some vital work had been postponed because the council did not know whether there would be finance available to carry out the work this year.

More potholes could appear on Suffolk roads

The government has given Suffolk County Council a grant to repair potholes. - Credit: PA

Suffolk has topped up its government grant for repairs to potholes and drains by dipping into its reserves - and that does include £2m to try to tackle drainage problems that can lead to flooded roads.

Cabinet member for highways Andrew Reid said this time last year the council had expected a new five-year settlement from the government in the autumn - new chancellor Rishi Sunak had just prepared a post-Brexit budget.

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He said: "The Covid pandemic meant it was not possible to have a full long-term review this year because of the government's work in supporting local authorities to deal with the crisis.

"We heard at the start of this week that we were getting more and are adding to that so we do more work on drainage as well as surface dressing and fixing potholes."

Last week's cold snap is likely to result in more potholes emerging as frozen puddles can damage road surfaces and lead to holes developing which can quickly become major problems for motorists and especially those on two wheels.

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