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Anger over City of York Council's road repair ‘secrecy’
ROAD bosses have been accused of making secret decisions over which routes in York will be in line for repairs.
A provisional City of York Council resurfacing programme for 2014/15, obtained by the authority’s Liberal Democrat group, has shown £2.6 million is scheduled to be spent on 49 road and footpath maintenance schemes, with a final highways budget being confirmed in March.
The Lib Dems said this meant the Acomb, Fulford and Heworth Without wards would get no road improvements, with “very limited” work in Dringhouses and Woodthorpe, and criticised the list being discussed in private rather than at a public decision session, as in previous years.
The programme outlines £1.656 million for road repairs and £951,000 for footpaths in 2014/15.
Lib Dem leader and Fulford councillor Keith Aspden aid the list was “a slap in the face” from the Labour council for his ward.
He said roads and paths across the city had deteriorated through budget cuts, with a growing backlog of repairs.
He said: “More than 100 residents have signed my petition calling for improvements to Fulford Park, Cherry Wood Crescent and Eastward Avenue, but it seems their voice is being totally ignored.”
Heworth Without councillor Nigel Ayre said York’s roads were in “a shocking state” while money was “lavished” on city-centre projects like the King’s Square revamp.
He said his party would be lobbying for wards which may miss out to get more roads funding.
Andy Binner, the council’s head of highways, said York was in the top 25 per cent nationally for the condition of its roads, with an annual assessment helping to prioritise work for the year ahead.
He said the 2014/15 programme was currently provisional and would be approved at a public meeting in March, based on the same amount of council funding as in 2013/14.
Coun David Levene, cabinet member for environmental services, said funding for projects like King’s Square, from the council’s budget for capital schemes, was being “deliberately confused” with revenue spending on roads by the Lib Dems.
He said: “They try to divert money away from roads in a worse state in other wards and call that a fair deal – they are clearly more interested in scoring points than doing what’s best for the city and its residents.”
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