Published figures now confirm that St Albans is being massively short-changed in road and pavement repairs by the county council.
Over the last year, St Albans had 16 percent of the reported pot-holes across the county – 3436 out of 21,753. But it only received £760,000 out of a total spend of £6.6 million across the county for patching and repair or 12 percent of the overall county budget.
This is an under-funding of at least a quarter of a million pounds, St Albans residents pay their council tax, the vast bulk of which goes to County Hall and they deserve their fair share in spending in return.
All my discussions on the doorstep tell me that few things cause more anger to local residents than the state of our roads and pavements. People want to have pride in their city and district. The look of the streetscape is integral to that – all the hard work that residents put into their homes and garden and shopkeepers put into their street fronts is nullified by cracked and broken roads and pavements.
It is shocking that St Albans is being short-changed in this way by the County Hall administration. And these figures only relate to pot-holes which are actually reported. My sense is that people in many areas have virtually given up on reporting on the state of their roads and pavements, such is the cynicism about the county council’s interest in repairing them. Many people say it would be less work reporting on roads in good repair. The biggest hole of all is in the county’s budget for St Albans.
How can we aspire to being Hertfordshire’s premier community when we are being let down in this way by County Hall? We have been running a local petition to David Cameron to ask his Conservative colleagues at County Hall to get a grip on roads and pavements. It is one of the few examples where we can see Conservative government in action. It seems that all the criticism that the new Conservative Party is all spin and no action applies here too. Please contact me if you want a petition form to sign.