Road repairs to be axed in £28m cuts?
Council leader: ‘Do you want to pay more to protect services?’
THE leader of Bucks County Council has warned that road resurfacing work could be axed amid ‘savage’ spending cuts.
The authority must save £28million in next year’s budget due to reduced government funding and a growing population. Taxpayers are to be asked whether they would prefer frontline services to be cut or taxes to be raised to plug the gap.
The council has identified where it can make £16m in savings, but it still needs to find £12m.
Leader Martin Tett said the council’s top priorities include safeguarding children, looking after the elderly and providing more school places.
But Mr Tett warned that the road treatment programme and other frontline services could be cut.
He said: “We’ve spent £70m on our roads over the past few years with another £60m planned, but with the challenges we’re facing we could be forced to cut the roads programme to fill the gap.
“We need people to understand how serious and challenging the budget situation is.
“We’ve been making savage cuts for 10 years and now we’re cutting into services that people value.”
Mr Tett said another way to fill the gap is to increase council tax.
As part of the consultation, the council is asking if people would like to see council tax frozen, increased by two per cent (42p a week extra for Band D) which would save £4.5m, or increased by five per cent (£1 a week extra for Band D), which would create income of £12m, meaning services could be protected and programmes like investment in roads could continue.
Mr Tett said: “We’re asking if they’d rather see a slash in services or if they’d rather pay a little bit more and keep services.
“Without making council tax increases, I don’t think we can make enough additional savings while at the same time continuing to protect the most vulnerable people in the community.
“It’s about making tough choices. We want to hear your views.”
The consultation ends on Sunday, November 9.
Visit www.buckscc.gov.uk/budget. Paper copies are available upon request.
What do you think? Email our letters page at firstname.lastname@example.org.