All county councillors are to be allocated £20,000 each to prioritise highways work in their own local communities.
The one-off funding, which is on top of annual funding for highways, was confirmed today at a meeting of the county council’s Cabinet.
Following the awarding of the Local Government Finance Settlement, the Cabinet presented an update on its budget and Medium Term Financial Strategy.
The council had faced an unprecedented £35m shortfall in its budget for 2019/20 – but after taking early, proactive action we are now on track to deliver a balanced budget in the spring.
Following successful lobbying of Government, the county council secured an additional one-off £8.9m for highways and £6.1m for social care.
Helen Fisher, Staffordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, said:
We have had to make some difficult decisions in order to balance our books and still be able to fund the care for rising numbers of vulnerable adults and children.
We are listening to the concerns people have raised and for this reason we decided to end the school crossing patrol review.
Now that we have the full financial picture, I am also pleased to announce that each county councillor will be allocated £20,000 to prioritise highways work.
The councillors are very much our eyes and ears in local communities and this will enable them to fix potholes, clear drains or even call in the roadmaster patching machine. It is up to them and I very look much forward to seeing the benefits this will bring to local communities.”
Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said:
While the additional one-off funding is welcome, we are continuing to press the Government for a long-term solution to the funding of care.
With less money to go around, councils can no longer fund or do everything they once did and we are being honest with local communities about this.
As part of this, a revised community fund will help ease the timescales for the withdrawal of funding for the voluntary sector and each councillor will also receive £2,500 to match fund community proposals by parish councils or community and voluntary organisations which focus on supporting children and families and health and wellbeing.
Our local members, parish councils, community and voluntary partners all have a huge role to play in empowering local communities to help themselves, their families, their friends and their neighbours more.”
A final budget will be presented to Full Council on February 14.