Labour are celebrating road improvements in preparation for the 10th July's Durham County Council's Cabinet. Liberal Democrat County Councillor Craig Martin calls this into question as the data tells a story of failure and worsening roads. That the Labour Portfolio Holder also needs questioning on their competence to do the position.
"The Labour Portfolio Holder for Highways really needs to read the report that has their name on. They cannot claim success while the numbers they publish show a visible worsening of our road network," said Lib Dem Cllr Craig Martin.
"Too many of the residents we represent are opening their doors to roads that are seriously in need of being resurfaced. Myself and the Lib Dems have repeatedly put forward fully costed motions for more spending on our highways network. Particularly aimed at our unclassified road network, that is in a terrible state."
"Rather than celebrating failure, Labour could find a portfolio holder that understands numbers. Yes, the maintenance backlog has decreased, but if the data is showing roads are getting worse, Labour really needs to question how they're deploying the Council's resources."
On 10th July Cllr Brian Stephens Portfolio Holder for Neighbourhoods and Local Partnerships will be presenting a report to Durham County Council's Cabinet. It details that the maintenance backlog has decreased from £187.6 million as of 31st March 2017 to £179.7 million as of 31st March 2018. While the same report shows the number of unclassified roads in need of maintenance move from 20% to 21% and no improvements in any other road categories, over the same period.
The Lib Dems in County Hall have echoed the concerns that residents have at the state of County Durham roads. The unclassified road network remains below the national average (rank 91/116). During the last budget, Lib Dems put forward fully costed measures to invest an extra £5 million on unclassified roads.