Gloucestershire Tories slammed over broken pavements

December 2, 2016 5:50 PM

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS are calling for a dedicated pot of money to fix the county's pavements and footways.

At the moment, highways bosses have a limited budget to sort out big pavement issues. But there's no day to day amount of money specifically targeted at maintaining the ongoing problems like cracked and uneven surfaces.

Deteriorating asphal / tarmac / pavement / road surface (By Bidgee (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)At the County Council meeting on Wednesday 7 December, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Cllr. Paul Hodgkinson (Bourton and Northleach) will be making the request to put the spotlight on Gloucestershire's walkways:

"There are many damaged pavements in need of repair. People are regularly tripping over and complaining about the state of the footways in towns and villages - in some cases you can't even walk along them because they are covered in grass or weeds. As a councillor I've had to ask and ask again to simply bring overgrown and cracked pavements back into use - this can't be right.

"The bottom line is that we need more money for our pavements, but we also need to separate them from our roads in order to see how best they can be maintained. I can't see any reason why this council could not therefore create a dedicated pot of money specifically for pavement and footway repairs that is separate from roads. It feels like pavements are the poor relations of roads yet so many people use them in places like Gloucester and Cheltenham. The Conservatives have neglected this after 12 years in power and need to step up to the plate to fix our broken pavements.

"Figures show that the breakdown of spending per area on pavements has a big disparity in money being spent around the county. For example, Stroud has received £332K for the repair and resurfacing of pavement and footways whereas Tewkesbury has only received £12K.

"I doubt very much that the reason why so little has been spent on Tewkesbury's pavements and footpaths is because they aren't in as much need of repair as Stroud's pavements. The system is too haphazard and needs looking at urgently.

"I really don't think this is a contentious ask and I hope it receives cross-party support at the next council meeting this month."

Shadow Cabinet Member for Highways and Floods, Cllr. Chris Coleman (LD: St Mark's and St Peter's), who will be supporting next Wednesday's motion, added:

"We believe that a dedicated revenue budget specifically for pavements is the way forward to making sure they get repaired.

"If a dedicated budget was introduced it would then be easier for us as residents to see exactly how much or realistically how little is being spent on pavements in a particular area across the county.

"It is essential especially given the current weather conditions and predictions of a cold winter that pavements along with the county roads are properly repaired and well maintained."