I loved the paradoxical nature of their leaflets which funnily enough conicided with a press release from the £4.5 million County Hall spin machine, which includes branded mints and pens, not to mention first class rail travel for an Andover Tory Councillor. In fact the press release made it out to be the best things since Stephenson's Rocket!
The Tories are desparate they have to resort to Pothole Busters because they've let the roads get into such a dreadful state. The recent bad weather had a dreadful effect on the roads for this very reason.
We proposed a £4m boost to highway and footway maintenance a year ago, because it was so badly needed, but the Tories said no.
They then brought in Pothole Busters in the Autumn to deal with the problem they denied existed. This year we proposed a £5m boost, but again they said no - and once again here come Pothole Busters!
Alas this story is the same story that was released in September and a trawl through this blog, which I know my Tory colleagues frequently do will show a suitable response.
Ok I will make it a little easier.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Andover Lib Dems brand Tory led Hampshire Highways launch of “Pothole” busters as an election gimmick
Andover Lib Dems have today denounced plans by Hampshire County Council to introduce a new team of “pothole” busters as a blatant gimmick in an attempt to cover up years of under spending on the County’s roads. Speaking on Andover Sound Tory Councillor Mel Kendel admitted that Hampshire roads were not in good condition.Andover Lib Dems have had it confirmed from many internal sources that Hampshire Highways will not undertake “proactive” management of the highways and only deal with a problem when it is reported.Andover Lib Dems spokesman N.J Gooding said today “The people of Andover will not be fooled by “pothole” busters. In April this year Tory led Hampshire County Council raised our Council tax by an inflation busting 4.5% then hey presto found another £1 million for pot holing filling.
In 2009 the year of County elections they will be capping Council Tax rise to just 3%. In essence all of us who pay council tax have had our charge increase to pay for years of underfunding for Hampshire roads. It is not extra money it is money we have been caned with this year in our Council Tax. It is a cynical attempt to paint a picture of good highways financial management which sadly has backfired. In essence we are all paying for the lack of a proper proactive highways maintenance strategy and will pay for years to come because pot hole repairs are dealing with the effect and not the cause”
In April of this Andover Lib Dems uncovered an example of highways underfunding using the freedom of information act. In Smannell Parish which sits in the Andover North County Division, Lib Dems uncovered that just £6000 had been spent on Smannell roads in 2 years (2006/07) whilst the Hampshire County Council raked in over £300000 from Council Tax payers in the Parish!
Andover North County Councillor Robin Hughes said today. “Tory led Hampshire County Council is now finally admitting that their lack of cyclical and proactive investment in the maintenance of our highways is causing serious problems that alas “pot hole” busters do not resolve in the long term. Andover residents are currently feeling the pain of the massive £43.38 Hampshire council tax hike this year, plus rises in fuel, food and utilities. The rise in Council tax is particularly harsh impact on people on fixed incomes, such as pensioners, who can do little about it but pay up and cut back on other things such as heating and food….people will see through this election gimmick”
Same old, same old news !