Lincolnshire County Council Highways budget slashed until 2025

Lincolnshire County Council leaders said they are disappointed to hear that funding for highways maintenance will remain frozen in the coming years.

Pothole problems
Pothole problems

Andrew Crookham, Executive Director of Resources at Lincolnshire County Council, told the authority’s executive on Tuesday that the latest government announcement around funding had been shared with him by national colleagues.

“Unfortunately, it currently shows that the funding for highways, which was obviously a big part of the debate around the recent budget setting, will be cash frozen at the 2021/22 levels up to the period 2024/25,” he said.

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“So obviously, clearly not the outcome that we’ve been hoping for in terms of the campaign for government.”

Lincolnshire County Council has been campaigning under its Fix Our Funds, Fix Our Roads” banner to reclaim £12.5 million of lost funding last year – a slash of 25 per cent to its roads budget.

The authority has equated the money to around 72,000 potholes left unfilled or 111 miles of road left not repaired over the next three years.

It has previously bolstered the funding through use of reserves, and this year changed its original plan to raise council tax by three per cent to instead raise it by 4.99 per cent in order to cover some of the losses.

However, it will still need to use around £2.3 million from its reserves this year to balance its books.

Councillors had been in talks with local and national MPs, who raised the issue with Grant Shapps and even questioned Prime Minister Boris Johnson on it during a recent visit.

Boris Johnson admitted it was “still something that we have to fix” and that he would raise it with Mr Shapps.

However, the latest news will come as a blow to that campaign.

Council leader Coun Martin Hill told the executive: “Obviously, not a total surprise but disappointing never-the-less. There is some flexibility around the edges but obviously we’ll have to have a look at that.”