‘No more bor­row­ing’

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

A PRES­SURE group has con­demned county plans to bor­row money to fix its roads, after its fi­nance chief said he would support tak­ing out a £260 mil­lion loan for the project.

The Tax­pay­ers’ Al­liance, which cam­paigns against waste­ful spend­ing, says although roads are es­sen­tial, bor­row­ing should be a last re­sort.

The com­ments follow this pa­per’s re­port on how Peter Hardy, cab­i­net mem­ber for fi­nance and re­sources said he would support bor­row­ing to re­pair roads.

His com­ments were made as part of the bud­get scru­tiny com­mit­tee’s week-long look at the 2015 bud­get.

Coun­cil­lor Hardy added he was hop­ing to per­suade col­leagues in cab­i­net to support the idea.

Leader Martin Tett said it would mean fur­ther cuts else­where.

Tax­pay­ers’ Al­liance spokesman Andy Sil­vester said: “Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties aren’t go­ing to be al­lowed to go bust, so there’s no pres­sure to pay the debt – it en­cour­ages bor­row­ing – whether wor­thy or not.”

He added the coun­cil should con­sider other op­tions, say­ing: “There’s no ques­tion roads are an es­sen­tial ser­vice, but the coun­cil should ex­haust all pos­si­ble av­enues of find­ing the money from else­where be­fore even con­tem­plat­ing run­ning up a credit card bill on top of the £1.4 tril­lion one tax­pay­ers are al­ready deal­ing with.”

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