Too many of our roads are in a poor state. The photo above is Valetta Road in East Acton, the ward where I am standing on 22nd.
The chart above shows the Borough’s own road spending this century on the Borough’s own roads. For 12 years from 1994 to 2006, Labour neglected our roads terribly. In 12 years they spent Â£12 million. This is ridiculous for a borough of our size. It got so bad that in 1999/2000 our borough spent nothing on its roads.
When the Tories came into power in 2006 we realised that we had a huge problem. We immediately put Â£500K into the roads in the current year and then put in Â£25 million.
When it came into power Labour thought that it could again skimp on roads but it didn’t quite go back to its bad old ways. They thought that they could get away with spending Â£15.5 million over four years (a 40% drop) but after a constant campaign from the Tories they recently found an extra Â£2 million to put in. Interestingly for all of Julian Bell’s talk of “unprecedented cuts” this extra cash came from an underspend on revenue spending. So the final figure is Â£17.5 million, a drop of just under a third (31%).
— Julian Bell (@juliangbell) March 31, 2014
Rather stupidly Labour leader Bell has been bragging recently that our borough has London’s largest spending on pot holes. This is merely an admission that we have underinvested in our roads. This is why the Tories will prioritise road (and pavement) spending. It makes it safer for pedestrians. It makes life easier for cyclists. It hugely improves the environment that people live in – the same people who are paying the council tax. Our philosophy is that your money should be spent on your doorstep and not on new car parks and doing up the Town Hall. There is less money to go around so it should not be spent on distant municipal projects.