Road safety concerns raised in council cuts

COUNCILLORS have become embroiled in a tense debate over a decision to scrap a £60,000 contract with another authority over orders to keep roads safe.

Thursday, 29th December 2016, 1:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:12 pm

The debate was sparked at a meeting of Fareham Borough Council’s scrutiny panel.

It concerned a decision made by the council’s executive on December 5 to scrap its contract with Hampshire County Council to pay for traffic regulation orders (TRO) across the borough.

The council carries out the works for the county on a subsidised contract, but the executive decided it was time to scrap the deal after the county said it would cut the funds for the work by 60 per cent.

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Fareham Borough Council had previously put only £6,000 towards the service but following the cuts this could escalate to more than £59,000.

Councillor Roger Price, leader of the council’s Lib Dem group, called in the decision for the scrutiny panel.

He said: ‘Residents and councillors in Fareham know that if they come to the borough council, the matters are listed, and will get looked at in a careful and considered manner.

‘The county only looks at casualty reduction as a reason for a TRO while we look at them to resolve traffic issues.

‘Traffic in Fareham is very much on the increase, there will be more problems for the future.’

He was backed by councillors Arthur Mandry and Maryam Brady, with Cllr Mandry putting a motion forward for the executive to revisit the decision and see if a new contract could be achieved.

Cllr Brady said: ‘If we scrap this contract, I’ll have to send residents to Suella Fernandes (Fareham MP) to solve our road issues.’

Council leader Sean Woodward said: ‘TROs will only be awarded if they are for safety reasons. The sheer amount of money we would pay for this service is not appropriate.’

He also pressed Cllr Price on why he didn’t call in the county council decision, as he is a county councillor.

The scrutiny panel voted six to two to go ahead with the termination of the contract.

However, the borough council will continue to fund the provision of speed limit reminder signs across the borough.