Several residents have asked me why the Council is spending a lot of money removing perfectly good paving in the town centre to replace it with new, when they cannot to keep roads repaired in outlying areas like Smithills.
First there was the new paving in Deansgate by Marks & Spence and the Natwest Bank – that cost just under £500,000. Now similar work is being done in Hotel Street and Mealhouse Lane (see picture); estimated cost £235,000. Work in Great Moor Street and Blackhorse Street will cost £140,000. Then there is the planned ‘revamp’ of Newport Street – expected to cost £1million.
It is nice to have new paving BUT is it a priority to spend that money when most of the Borough’s roads are in a terrible state?
In the debate on this year’s Council budget, Liberal Democrats proposed a one-off spending on roads of £5million - mainly on residential roads which have been neglected for years. We showed how that could be funded without any increase to Council Tax (you will remember that Labour put Council Tax up above inflation). True to form, Labour voted against that, so we were defeated.
Where do their priorities really lie?