East Riding of Yorkshire Council is set to spend an extra £2.4 million of council tax payers cash in repairing and improving the area’s highway network.
The decision to allocate the sum for additional highways maintenance, as well as further spend in other key service areas, was approved by the council’s cabinet today.
The council has worked hard to respond to Government funding reductions, which started in 2010/11 and are expected to continue into 2017/18.
In response, the council has again achieved a planned and managed underspend for the financial year 2012/13 and will redistribute this.
In total, £14.2 million has been under spent on the revenue budget, a significant achievement against the current economic climate.
Councillor Stephen Parnaby OBE, leader of the council, said: “The planned underspend achieved over the past 12 months is very commendable and further evidence of this authority’s prudent financial management.
“Road maintenance remains a significant pressure because of the size of the network in the East Riding and the continuing impact of the severe winter weather in recent years.
“It is also one of the top priorities identified by our residents through budget consultations and it is good that the council can respond so positively.
“Prioritising highways maintenance is not new and we have already put in considerable additional funds over and above normal budgets to carry out essential repair work.”
As well as the cash injection for highways maintenance, cabinet has also approved an allocation of £3 million to support the capital programme, which is used to improve essential infrastructure such as housing, schools and roads, and is currently valued at £313 million over the next four years.
An additional £1.75 million will be used to support schools which are currently judged by Ofsted to be either Satisfactory or Require Improvement to attain a Good or better Ofsted outcome within three years and a further £3.5 million is earmarked to help manage the budget pressures on social care that result from the East Riding’s growing population of older people and the increased number of children looked after by the council.
Councillor Parnaby said: “East Riding of Yorkshire Council has not been treated differently in terms of Government funding reductions, but through planning ahead and robust financial management we have been able to mange the consequences much better than most other local authorities.
“The council has saved key services like leisure centres, libraries, children’s centres and our residential care homes and day centres from service reductions and closures whilst maintaining expenditure on the voluntary and community sector at £25 million per annum.”