Repairs to one of the most pothole riddled cul-de-sacs in Northampton and five other road resurfacing schemes in the town have been shelved because of county council budget restraints.
A circular email to members on Northamptonshire County Council yesterday morning stated that a £183,000 shortfall in the yearly highways budget means 25 road repair schemes have had to be “deferred” until next year.
Last week the county council announced it is due for a £17.5 million overspend in the 2015/16 financial year because of what leaders called “unforeseen” budgetary pressures heaped on the authority in areas such as adult social care and children’s services.
In Northampton it means repairs to Foxhill Road in Billing, Delamere Road in Delapre, Chalcombe Avenue in Kingsthorpe and Kenmuir Crescent, Kingsley, have all been pushed back to next year.
Also plans to resurface Austin Street in the Mounts, which was considered one of the most pothole peppered streets in Northampton, will also be pushed back, despite a 50-name petition asking for it to be repaired being lodged in August.
Councillor Winston Strachan, (Lab, Castle) chairman of the transport scrutiny committee, said the highways schemes are the victims of tough government cutbacks to the Tory controlled county council.
He said: “I know I should be hammering down on the Conservative group a little more for not managing the budget better, but the reality is central government is putting the squeeze on us.
“Maybe the Labour group would have done a little better.
“But the funds just aren’t there.
“It is disappointing, that highways schemes are the victim in all this.”
A spokesman for the county council said the schemes are not being canned altogether but being moved until next year.
Councillor Strachan says this will only reduce the number of scheduled works in the 2016/17 year.
A council spokesman said: “It has been widely reported that the county council is facing significant in-year budgetary pressures and as a consequence all service areas have been asked to find savings in-year.
“The result of this is that the Highways budget has been reduced in-year by £183k and as such some highways patching schemes have been deferred.
“Patching schemes are carried out in the warmer summer months when weather conditions are more suitable. Therefore a significant amount of projects have already been done.
“The delayed works are simply being deferred and will be included in next year’s programme of works.”