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Hit a pothole? Blame Labour, says new Tory chief
WHEN you hit a pothole or your tyre is punctured on Buckinghamshire's battered roads, blame Labour, says the county's new Tory chief.
In announcing an extra £6m to fix the street surfaces, which have been severely hit in recent winters, over two years Cllr Martin Tett said the previous Government are culpable.
And the new Leader of Buckinghamshire County Council warned that, despite making highway repairs a priority, many people would still be left unsatisfied.
Although under his plans £25m will be spent over the next two years, it is estimated a full refurb woud cost around £200m.
Attacking the 13 years of national Labour rule, he said: “It's a fact, I know politicians are accused of the blame game but if you look at the reality we used to receive, historically, something called supportive borrowing.
“But that was taken away by the Labour Government so we had no money to invest in our roads.”
The Coalition Government has made money available, while his new administration has identified extra cash to help the “long slow progress on our roads,” he said.
He openly conceded drivers would still be unhappy even after the cash injection for this year and next.
“We are not going to meet the reasonable expectations of all our residents,” Cllr Tett said.
“At the end of two years there will be many, many roads in many, many areas that still don't come to the standards that people have a right to expect but we will begin to make improvements across the entire county.”
Labour's Wycombe District Councillor Ian Bates dismissed Cllr Tett's claims.
Cllr Bates was on the county council between 1997 and 2005 when he said the highways budget was continually “plundered”.
“For at least the eight years I was county councillor roads maintenance had a very low priority,” he said.
“It's only in recent years because we've had some bad winters it's become so bad they've decided to do something about it.”
He said: “It's a very convenient thing to blame everything on the previous Government, but it just doesn't wash.
“The state of the roads we've got at the moment and the fact they need so much repair is down to decades of neglect.
“The thing about it is Martin Tett and his predecessor David Shakespeare's party (Conservatives) have been in sole control of Bucks since 1905 or something.
“The state of the roads in Buckinghamshire are entirely the responsibility of the Conservative group, no other party has been in control so there can't be anyone else.”