County Councillors in Norfolk ask for more money for local highway schemes

A call has been made for county councillors in Norfolk who represent urban areas such as Norwich to be given double the money to pay for improvements to local roads.

Since 2017 Norfolk County Council has made money available to each county councillor, which they can choose to spend on highways improvement schemes.

Councillors can currently get £10,000 each year for such schemes, but at a meeting this week, a councillor who represents a Norwich division, said they should receive more to help tackle a backlog of improvements.

Paul Neale, Green county councillor for Norwich’s Nelson ward, said, over the past 11 years, some 67pc of integrated transport money – meant for small transport schemes – has ended up being reallocated into County Hall’s overall highway maintenance budget, reports the Eastern Daily Press.

He said that, due to the high density and high demand for improvements in urban areas, councillors who represent divisions in Norwich should have their budgets doubled.

However, Martin Wilby, cabinet member for highways and transport, did not commit to such a change.

He said: “The local member discretionary budgets have recently been increased from £6,000 per year to £10,000, totalling some £840,000 available per annum.

“The scope of the funding has been widened this year to include environmental initiative such as the installation of electrical vehicle charging points and tree planting.”

He said the budget for road schemes would need to strike a balance between maintenance and improvement.

But he added: “It remains prudent asset management to focus on maintaining Norfolk’s highways asset while a maintenance backlog exists.”

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