28 April 2014

When in a pothole - stop digging

Mr Mustard read a story in the local Times newspaper about Barnet having the most pothole complaints in London last year, and particularly as a motorcyclist that does concern him, and as ever, he wondered why? Mr Mustard raked through his old emails and found one of 28 February 2011 from Cllr Rutter who had so unimpressed him at the first Residents' Forum he went to, which said:

Barnet has however prioritised to fixing the potholes and we are doing everything we can to get the potholes repaired as quickly as possible.

all figures came from a council report

So doing everything we can would include spending more on planned maintenance presumably? Oh no, the spend went down in the following year.

What we can see from the chart is that 10 years ago, far more was spent on vital infrastructure and there has been a steady drift down over the following years until now, with the roads in an awful condition, spending is once again increasing, but is still short of what it used to be and there will have been about 20% in total inflation since 04/05 so the shortfall is even more marked.

That measly 1% / £1.6m reduction in Council Tax take looks very foolish to Mr Mustard.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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