Pothole roadworks in north of the county postponed due to budget constraints

Work to improve a number of pothole-riddled roads has been postponed until next year.
Work to improve a number of pothole-riddled roads has been postponed until next year.

Schemes to improve a number of pothole-riddled roads in the north of the county have been postponed until next year because of county council budget constraints.

An email to council members has stated that budgetary pressures means that 25 road improvement plans must be deferred in order make up the £183,000 shortfall in the highways budget.

The plans will affect a number of areas in the north of the county, including North Street in Oundle and Simpson Avenue in Higham Ferrers in the East Northants district.

In Corby repairs to Glastonbury Road, Oakley Road and Oldenburg Road, as well as High Street in Stanion, are being deferred until next year.

Union Street in Finedon and The Pyghtles in Wollaston will also be faced with a wait.

In the Kettering district, Southgate Drive in Kettering, Rushton Road in Desborough and Evison Road in Rothwell will not see road repairs until next year.

Cllr Mick Scrimshaw believes this is another example of a desperate attempt to balance the budget.

Speaking at a council meeting earlier this month, he said: “It raises questions in my mind at least about the original budget and we see that the council is way off course from balancing the books.

“How can we have got it so wrong? I can’t help but wonder whether it’s a cock-up or a conspiracy because it looks to me as if either you don’t know what you’re doing or you do and you’re hoping nobody will notice.

“Unlike previous years when portfolio holders have been helped out at the end of the financial year by using reserves, that’s not going to happen this year.

“The truth is if we were a private business, we would already be on the verge of bankruptcy.”

The news comes after previous roadwork postponements, including the resurfacing of Northampton Road outside the bus station in Kettering.

The reconstruction of the footways in Conniston Road, Kettering, and Lea Way, Wellingborough, were also pushed back.

A council spokesperson said: “It has been widely reported that the county council is facing significant in-year budgetary pressures and as a consequence all service areas have been asked to find savings in-year.

“The result of this is that the Highways budget has been reduced in-year by £183k and as such some highways patching schemes have been deferred.”