Aug 16 2012 By Doug Archibald
AN ATTACK on extra cash for resurfacing the region’s pothole strewn roads has been brushed aside.
The £1 million was dubbed a “sticky plaster scheme” by Labour.
But the region’s second in command pointed out there can be no quick fix to a problem that will:
take 30 years to fix;
involve 4,500 miles of road; and
cost some £100 million.
Castle Douglas and Glenkens depute leader Brian Collins said: “This will not be solved overnight.”
Councillors reacted with some disappointment when the policy and resources committee was told only £1 million was available.
They had been expecting as much as £3 million generated by savings to be turned over.
One million pounds is enough to resurface 37 kilometres.
Mr Collins, who chaired the meeting, said: “Some members had been expecting £3 million but the officers explained £1 million was the amount of money they can currently spend on the roads effectively and efficiently.
“But there may be more in October.”
However, the extra cash was dismissed as “not enough” by Labour.
Councillor Colin Smyth labelled it a “sticky plaster” scheme against the £100 million backlog of repairs.
He said: “The allocation of £1 million is totally inadequate.
“Right across our region, roads are deteriorating and this level of extra spending won’t halt that deterioration.
“The council currently has more than £3 million of capital funding unallocated because it hasn’t used its planned borrowing.
“We should be looking to allocate at le@ast that amount, if not more, and actually start to turn around the plague of potholes and poor road surfaces we have.”
Council figures show that, on average, around £5.6 million is spent on re- surfacing each year.
In April the planning, housing and environment services committee recognised that failure to take action would only lead to increasing maintenance and repair costs.
And that might mean reduced levels of service which could “threaten public safety” and the economy of communities.
So the committee decided to ask colleagues on the policy and resources committee for the extra £1 million. The money can only be used for resurfacing work as it is capital funding.