FOI request reveals shocking facts on pothole repair spending in Burnley
Spending to repair potholes on Burnley's roads was just half that spent in the Ribble Valley according to a freedom of information request submitted by Burnley MP Julie Cooper.
Labour MP Mrs Cooper said the results of the request had "cast a huge shadow of doubt" on spending claims made the Tory leader of Lancashire County Council Geoff Driver.
In a previous heated exchange over the poor state of roads in her constituency, Mrs Cooper quoted figures showing that spending in Burnley and Padiham was substantially less than in other more affluent parts of the county, citing Ribble Valley as an example.
Coun. Driver denied the claims and labelled the MP’s request for a schedule of repair works for potholes in Burnley and Padiham as "ridiculous".
However a freedom of information request submitted by the Burnley and Padiham MP has forced an admission from the county council that the actual spending was only half of that spent in neighbouring Ribble Valley.
Mrs Cooper said: “Having seen a dramatic deterioration in the state of roads in my constituency over the last six months, far more than that normally seen during the winter, I called into question LCC’s poor performance and demanded that an urgent program of works should be carried out across the constituency.
"I was informed by leader County Coun. Geoff Driver that £1.5m. had been spent on Burnley and Padiham’s roads last year which quite frankly to me and the hundreds of my constituents up in arms about this issue, seemed hard to believe.
"My freedom of information request confirmed my suspicions and proved that Burnley and Padiham have not been getting their fair share of the funding. The response to the FOI request told me all I need to know."
The FOI request revealed that:
The total amount of money spent in this current financial year (2017-18) on road and highway maintenance in Burnley District Council is £745,323
The total amount of money spent in this current financial year on road and highway maintenance in Ribble Valley District Council is £1,600,667
Mrs Cooper added: "My constituents pay their Council Tax; they deserve decent roads to travel on and I will continue to pressure Lancashire County Council Leaders to make sure that they get their act together, stop making excuses and sort this out.
"It is particularly exasperating that UKIP County Coun. Alan Hosker, elected to work for the people of our towns, chose not to support Labour’s attempt to increase spending on pothole repair. Does he not listen to the people of Hapton and Padiham who have been up in arms about damage to their cars caused by the shocking state of the roads in the area?
"I have asked residents to monitor the time taken to repair the potholes in their area and also to let me know about the standard of the repairs. It is important that these repairs are not done ‘on the cheap’ or we risk having similar problems next year at the first sign of frost.”