Councillors get control of highways cash

More plans are being finalised around Gloucestershire for improvements on roads and footpaths in local communities under a pionerring funding deal.

The schemes are being funded by a £10,000 budget allocated to each county councillor in Gloucestershire with a total pot over the next two years of £1.6m.

The county councillors have all talked to people in their communities and worked with their local highways manager to develop highways schemes to benefit the local area.

Cllr Stephen McMillan, county councillor for Mid Dean, is spending the money across the parishes in his patch. Schemes include a hand salt spreader for Longhope, road safety signs for Taynton and drainage improvements on Church Road in Churcham.

Cllr Stephen McMillan said: “I have nine parishes in my division, and after discussions with all of them, I felt it was only fair to divide the £10k equally between them. I felt it would be wrong to choose a small number of projects in one or two of the parishes when they all have things they would like done.

“Some of the parishes are going to match fund the GCC money with their own funds to enable them to carry out more substantial works. One or two others are going to combine the money with next years’ funding to do something more substantial.”

In Cirencester, the two county councillors, Cllrs Peter Braidwood and John Burgess, are pooling their budgets to carry out a number of smaller schemes around the town for the benefit of local people.

These include new footway construction in Newholme Road, drainage investigation and repair in Kings Street and Victoria Road, a hand salt spreader for Fosse Close and maintenance work on the Stratton Heights estate.

Cllr Peter Braidwood said: “There was no single big scheme that was needed in Cirencester, but there are lots of small bits of work that are the sort of jobs that never really get done. As a result of that, Cllr Burgess and I decided that working together to fund these works was the best use locally for the money.”

Cllr John Burgess said: “I have been able to offer Cirencester Town Council the opportunity for some joint working to improve access over land they own.”

It is anticipated that the works will be completed before the end of April.

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, Cabinet member for communities, said: “County councillors are our closest link to these communities, so it makes sense for them to be more involved and tell us which highways schemes would best meet the needs of people in their area.”

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