A wise person once wrote: “Belief is exclusively a matter of personal opinion. It has nothing to do with reality.”
It is amazing how the same piece of information can be interpreted so wildly differently by two different political parties.
On the one hand the Conservatives are criticising Bury’s Labour Council for borrowing £10m to invest in improving the borough’s road network. Our roads have deteriorated as our budget for road repairs has been slashed along with the other £100m taken out of the Council’s Budget by Conservative Government cuts.
We are taking a prudent approach by investing in our road network now.
This will save money by :
1.) Focussing on doing high quality resurfacing works which means we will spend less over time in doing pothole repairs.
2.) Reduce the amount we have to pay out in insurance claims for damage caused to cars by potholes.
The investment plan pays for itself. We are borrowing £10m over 40 years. This will be paid for by the savings made from the above and will pay capital and interest charges for a total of 37 out of the 40 years. The costs for the first 3 years will be £611, 000 and will be paid from Council reserves. That is great value for money.
The Tories say it is just like mortgaging the borough. Most people have mortgages. Most businesses carry some form of debt to support their operations or investment. The cost of borrowing is now at record low levels. Their alternative is to do nothing.
On the other hand, the Lib Dems want us to spend ten times more - a cool £100m! And borrow the whole amount!
Notwithstanding we couldn’t afford to borrow that amount or indeed have the capacity to deliver £100m worth of road resurfacing – it is the Lib Dems from their time in Coalition Government that began the destruction of Bury Council’s budget when we lost £65 million pounds between 2011 and 2015.
The Leader of the Lib Dems refused to support our proposals to invest £10m in the highway network at last night’s meeting of the Council’s Cabinet (12 April 2017). It seems to be an approach that lacks all logic. ‘We don’t think you are spending enough so we won’t support what you are spending to improve the highway network.....’. A bizarre approach.
Bury Labour have got the scale and funding of this project just right. It is affordable and therefore prudent. It is on sufficient scale to make a difference and it will keep the borough moving.