This graph explains why too many of Ealingâ€™s roads look bad. When Labour last had a long spell in power, 12 years up to 2006, they thought that they could get away with barely spending anything on roads at all.
From 1994/5 to 2006/7 Labour spent roughly Â£12 million in 12 years. Indeed Labour spent absolutely nothing in the year 2000. This level of spending was totally inadequate for a borough of our size. Labour thought that they could get away with raising council tax by 179% and spending Â£50 million on the Response programme but that the road outside your house was unimportant.
When we were elected in 2006 one of the things that we quickly realised was that the roads backlog was huge. Immediately Â£500K was set aside to boost the paltry Â£1 million allocated by Labour for 2006/7. Then a comprehensive road resurfacing programme was kicked off which saw a total of Â£25.5 million allocated to properly resurfacing roads as opposed to the ineffective skimming that had been done previously to stretch the meagre budget.
According to the budget book Labour plans to spend Â£3.5 million on road resurfacing next year. That will bring the total allocated over a four year cycle to Â£15.5 million. Compared to the Â£25.5 million allocated by the previous Conservative administration this represents a 39% cut in this budget.