Northumberland Conservatives are revolutionising the way this council operates, but first and foremost we are prioritising the basics, making sure residents get the quality of services they deserve.
Earlier in the year, when residents countywide were afflicted during the ‘Beast from the East’. I was very proud of our frontline men and women, our contractors and farmers and volunteers who helped limit the impact for residents. But this, and the challenging winter we’ve just faced has damaged the roads the council is responsible for, amounting to nearly 3000 miles.
The previous Labour council leader said that this county doesn’t have a pothole problem. I have made sure that our council rejects this attitude of denial, and tackles head on the problem of potholes our county is facing.
To help deal with the problem on our roads we have allocated £420,000 of new money from the council’s reserves to help pay for pothole repairs. We have also been allocated an additional £1.85 million from the government to ease the problem. We are trying to move away from patch repairs, and where possible relaying larger sections of the road. This costs money but we have promised to spend £100 million over our term of office - and we will.
I’m proud that elsewhere we’re also delivering services to our residents:
- Our joint bid to renovate the 200 year-old Union Chain Bridge over the Tweed near Berwick has passed its first stage of Heritage Lottery Funding and we, along with Scottish Borders Council, are taking this project forward in what is the first such cross border and cross Council bid of its kind.
- Our £1 million Country Parks Investment plan is underway which will provide new and exciting improvements in our Country Parks for the first time in years.
- Priorities for this coming year include tackling the problem of littering and encouraging greater recycling.
And the really important things like making sure bins are emptied, grass is cut, and streets are kept tidy- those things that people really value - will stay at the top of our list along with beating the pothole legacy of last winter.