Ealing and Northfield

Labour’s road spending games

I asked a question (52) about road resurfacing at the last council. The council officers declined to do the analysis I asked for but at least they published the base data. I have done the analysis myself. You can download my workings if you want to check – I deal in numbers and I am happy for you to check what I have done.

This year and last year were the first two years where the current Labour administration was responsible for setting the priorities for capital spending. Essentially Labour has halved road spending. They allocated £2,922,525 in 2011/12 and £3,610,000 in the current 2012/13 financial year.

Labour have learnt their lesson and haven’t quite gone back to the bad old days. For ten years they spent about £1 million a year on our roads and pavements. In 1999/2000 they spent absolutely nothing. When we were elected in 2006 there was a frightening backlog. We immediately added £500K to the current year’s spend in 2006/7 and we spent another £25 million in 4 years. If the council can’t keep up the roads it is hard to know what it is for. Since Labour got back into power it has halved road spending again. Not quite the bad old days, unless you live in an opposition ward.

If you look at how spending has broken down by ward over the last two years you get the picture below.

One ward, Ealing Common, has had no roads or pavements resurfaced in two years. Acton Central, Greenford Green, Hanger Hill, North Greenford, Northfields, South Acton and Southfield have had just one road or pavement done. Cleveland and East Acton have had just two. At the other end of the spectrum the Labour held Northolt West End ward has had £1.2 million spent on it doing 17 roads and pavements. This is Labour roads boss, Cllr Bassam Mahfouz’s own ward. Funny that.

The average spend per ward has been £284K these last two years. Southall Broadway got just over the average. All the ward above the average are essentially Labour wards (one out of three councillors in Northolt Mandeville is a Conservative).

It is quite clear that in the last two years expenditure has been focussed in Labour’s core areas. In 2011/12 50% of expenditure went to the 5 wards of Southall (they might expect to get 22% on average). In 2012/13 49% of expenditure went to the 2 wards of Northolt (they might expect to get 9% on average).

What will Labour do next year? Half the money spent in Acton? In two years Acton has got just 3% of the roads cash to do 4 roads and pavements across three wards in two years. It might expect to have got 13% if it matched its share of the wards. Let’s see.

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