MP Jo Swinson challenges First Minister to spend cash on EDC’s neglected roads

Pothole on Mansel Road, Bearsden.
Pothole on Mansel Road, Bearsden.

Local MP Jo Swinson has challenged the First Minister to spend money on improving roads in East Dunbartonshire.

Ms Swinson is urging Alex Salmond to use the £24.4 million which has been made available to him from the UK Government to fix dangerous roads and pavements.

She said: “Local people have been telling me for years how fed up they are with the general state of our roads, which are dangerous for motorists and pedestrians. People are frustrated that potholes continue to be an issue.

“It’s time the Scottish Government got to grips with this problem. Extra money has been made available to invest in upgrading roads yet Alex Salmond has not said whether this money will be made available to Scottish councils.”

Councillor Ashay Ghai, convener of neighbourhood services and depute council leader, said: “East Dunbartonshire is facing unprecedented financial challenges - having saved £40m in eight years it needs to cut a further £20m over the next three - but despite this it is one of the only local authorities in Scotland with an improving performance for road repairs. It is also above average in terms of spend per km of carriageway.

“There is always more we can do and if additional funds were available they would be welcome. Maintaining the carriageway network is a priority and resources are used as efficiently and effectively as possible to ensure the safety of all road users and pedestrians.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government has mitigated the UK Government’s cuts to our budget by almost 11 per cent in real terms between 2010-11 and 2015-16 by delivering flat cash revenue settlements for local government over the last four years. Extra money has been given for new responsibilities and East Dunbartonshire Council has received its fair share. In 2014-15 East Dunbartonshire Council will receive a total funding package which will amount to almost £188.6 million. The vast majority of the revenue funding, including funding for roads maintenance, is being provided by means of a block grant.

“It is the responsibility of individual local authorities to manage their own budgets and to allocate the total financial resources available to them on the basis of local needs and priorities, having first fulfilled their statutory obligations and the jointly agreed set of national and local priorities.”