A dedicated £250 million pothole fund for the UK is the result of “incessant lobbying” from Northampton North MP Michael Ellis, the Chancellor claimed while delivering his Spending Review speech yesterday.
Among the measures outlined at the House of Commons yesterday, George Osborne revealed he would be watering down proposals to cut £4.4 billion of working tax credits by abandoning planned changes to income thresholds and “taper rates”.
But the biggest roar of the lengthy parliamentary session yesterday came when the Chancellor outlined plans to spend more than £5 billion on roads maintenance, as well as £250 million towards a “permanent” pothole fund over the next five years.
Outlining the measures Mr Osborne credited his Conservative colleague, Mr Ellis.
He said: “Thanks to the incessant lobbying by my Honorable Friend for Northampton North, Britain now has a permanent pothole fund.”
Following the announcement of the pothole fund, Mr Ellis said he was “chuffed to bits”.
He said: “Sometimes people in politics, they turn their noses up at the issue of potholes and say it is micro-managing the economy.
“But I know potholes are an issue that really matters to a lot of people.
“The chancellor has realised it will save the taxpayer money.”
Mr Ellis said the UK was suffering from “decades” of under-funding in its roads network, adding that his “incessant campaigning” came about from listening to his constituents.
He said: “When I asked people on the doorstep what was the biggest thing that affected them, by a large margin it was the state of our roads.
“I’ve focussed on it since then and now we have a permanent fund.”
Among the other key measures outlined in the spending review, Mr Osborne revealed policing, health, education, international aid and defence budgets would be protected.
However he said transport, energy, business and the environment would face departmental spending cuts.