LEADER of MK Council, Councillor Andrew Geary, has defended his party for only spending £1.3 million of £5 million allocated to repair potholes in roads and pavements.
The Tory cabinet were scrutinised by Labour deputy leader Nigel Long after he said his party had helped to secure a two-year funding programme to tackle potholes with £5 million being spent in each of the next two financial years.
Councillor Long said: “I am appalled that they have failed to spend the money we secured in the budget.
“It gets worse because of the money they have spent, the vast bulk of it has been spent in the city centre rather than in the older parts of the city that have the biggest potholes problem.
“I think the council has failed to address the serious problem of potholes this year. I expect to see over £7.5 million being spent next year to catch up. If they fail again I will push for the removal of the highways boss.
The money is there, they must spend it.”
However, Mr Geary said the road investment was being carried out over time and that money was still there to be invested and that the council had put together an in-depth report of where in Milton Keynes the need was greatest.
He said: “It’s true we haven’t invested it yet.
“However, we are mindful that there are significant areas where the infrastructure is decaying at the same rate.
“It was discovered that CMK was the biggest priority because there was such a high footfall. We wanted to focus on the areas that were most used.
“We want to invest money in the right areas for the best outcomes. We’ve only had 10 months so far and I don’t think we’ve made a bad start at all.”
Over the next year the council will help oversee pothole repairs across the city and by the end of March next year £10 million should have been invested in roads and redways across the city as part of plans agreed within the budget.