Northampton North MP praised as Chancellor announces £200 million of funding to repair potholes

George Osborne and Michael Ellis
George Osborne and Michael Ellis

Northampton North MP Michael Ellis was praised by the Chancellor of the Exchequer as he announced £200 million of funding for pothole repairs across the country.

George Osborne described Mr Ellis as “very persistent” in raising the issue of potholes in his constiuency. The pot of £200 million will be available to local authorities to apply for and Mr Osborne said he was “fully expecting” an application for a slice of that funding to go to Northampton.

Mr Ellis, speaking to the Chronicle & Echo after the debate in Parliament, said he was absolutely delighted by the announcement, if not a little shocked when he was mentioned in the Budget statement.

“This is excellent news, not just for the people of Northampton but for the entire country.

“This is something we have been campaigning and lobbying for and something that is desperately needed and wanted. All the surveys we have done have shown this is the number one local issue with people in my constituency.”

Mr Ellis said he would now be meeting with members of Northamptonshire County Council to discuss making an application for funding.

“I would expect Northampton to receive millions of pounds of funding. It is too early to say how much we will receive, but it will be a sizeable amount of money and there will be further developments flowing from this announcement,” he added.

Reacting immediately after the announcement on Twitter, Sally Keeble, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Northampton North, said it showed Northampton North was going to be an election battleground next year. She Tweeted: “Mapping places name-checked by GO will set out the Tories election strategy. He has just name-checked Northampton North!”

But Mr Ellis said: “This is not about electioneering, this is about delivering what the people in my constituency have been asking for.”

As part of his budget announcement George Osbourne revealed that a new 12-sided pound coin would be introduced in the UK by 2017.

The move means all pay-in coin machines across the country would need to be adapted to accept the new pound - modelled on the old threepenny piece.

A Northampton Borough Council spokesperson said the authority would need to replace components on 45 pay machines across the borough.

She said: “We have 45 payment machines in car parks around the town.

“The machines have a mechanism that validates coins that are inserted in the slot, and it is this part that will need either adapting or replacing ready for when the new coin is introduced in 2017.

“At this stage we don’t know how much it will cost to adapt the machines, but we will be talking to our suppliers well ahead of the 2017 change.”