Chris has been asking more questions about the County Highways budget for winter salting and snowploughing this winter , getting information that the County don’t normally publicise.
The situation is this that the budget has been cut in most of South Essex:
In Rochford, cut from ?103,335 last winter to ?30,273 this winter
— In Castle Point,cut from ?50,884 to ?26,310
— In Basildon, cut from ?106,735 to ?63,820
— In Maldon, cut from ?130,954 to ?55,749
Even last year’s budget wasn’t enough- the total budget for these areas was ?440,287 , but the County actually spent ?453,087
County Council officers say there is no problem – if they need to spend more money, “in all likelihood” they will find the amounts from reserves somewhere.
Our thoughts are- even if the extra funds can be found at the last minute, slashing the budget by so much doesn’t exactly help the council staff plan properly for the winter. Also, why has Rochford’s budget been cut by more than two-thirds? Other areas haven’t been hit so badly.