Roads and flooding are focus in Hampshire for coming year

Flooding in Hambledon a year ago
Flooding in Hambledon a year ago
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MILLIONS of pounds will be spent on roads and combating flooding in the next 12 months.

Hampshire County Council has agreed its budget with a ‘significant’ portion being spent on infrastructure in Gosport, Fareham and Havant.

Councillor Graham Burgess, who represents Gosport, said the budget is a win-win situation.

‘It is amazing that after 40 years we are finally getting the infrastructure we have been asking for,’ he said.

‘I am very pleased and people in Gosport should be pleased. It is a win-win for them. Money is being spent on Newgate Lane, Peel Common roundabout and the money is there for Newgate Lane South which is great news.’

Money will also go towards tackling flooding in Hambledon and Wallington and upgrading the Asda roundabout in Havant.

Cllr Sean Woodward, executive member for transport, economy and environment, said: ‘A significant amount of the budget will be going to projects in Gosport, Fareham and Havant.

‘There are lots of plans for flooding and roads from a capital budget which is unprecedented. The budget is good news for the people of Hampshire because we can freeze council tax despite the cuts we have to face.’

Council leader Roy Perry said the budget was ‘careful, cautious and competent’.

But Ukip’s Chris Wood said he was worried by cutbacks.

‘I am absolutely appalled that this budget has delivered cuts to highways maintenance, public transport, road safety, adult social care and youth services,’ he said.

‘This is a budget which has taken a further swipe at public services because central government has failed to balance its books so is passing the buck. It’s a step too far and I’m proud to have voted against it.’

And Lib Dem councillor Keith House said it lacked vision and transparency.

‘The Conservative budget fails to take opportunities to transform the way Hampshire develops public services,’ he said. ‘We need to be much more conscious of the needs of vulnerable people.’

Other issues discussed during the budget meeting, held yesterday, was the council’s reserves. The council has nearly £500m in reserves which opposition councillors said could be spent on services which are facing cuts.

But Cllr Perry said some of the £482m had already been earmarked for future services.