Hampshire highways maintenance cuts proposed

Hampshire County Council could make cuts to its highways services as it looks to save 12% of its budget by 2015.

The local authority is also looking closely at how it delivers its transport, economic development, planning and waste services.

The council is having to make savings as its grant from Government has been cut by 43% over the last four years.

Councillor Seán Woodward, executive member for economy, transport and environment, said: “In these challenging economic times, we’re looking closely at how we can maximise efficiency in our operations and concentrate on our core services, while supporting Hampshire’s economy. We’re listening to what Hampshire residents want and expect, and it’s important we use our £113 million budget fairly and respect the public’s priorities, in particular, around our highways services that affect everyone in Hampshire one way or another.

“This does mean some tough decisions will need to be made. Our priorities are to look after our highway network, to ensure that subsidised bus and community transport services support travel to areas of employment, education and health, and to both reduce the cost of processing household waste and reduce the volume of waste that goes through the system.

“We’ll be looking at some different and innovative ways to make sure we can continue to deliver these key priorities, while meeting our budget savings targets and maintaining the quality of our core services. The aim is to focus resources where they are most needed and provide highways, transport, economic development, planning and waste services for all of Hampshire’s council taxpayers on an equitable, efficient and effective basis.”

The council’s economy, transport and environment select committee will review a series of budget proposals on 21 January.

With around three quarters of the budget spent through external contracts, cutting costs in the three main contract spend areas of highways maintenance, waste disposal and bus subsidies will be critical to meeting budget savings targets, according to the council. While maintaining Hampshire’s highways network remains the key priority, savings are proposed to change the way some routine maintenance is carried out to make the most efficient use of resources. The county council has been successful in securing a significant amount of capital funding from government to deliver transport and highways projects and a number of these schemes will be completed this year.

 

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