Cumbrian council fails to spend £43 million of Government Storm Desmond flood repair cash

More than a third of the £117.6 million provided by the Government to Cumbria County Council in the immediate aftermath of the 2015 floods for road and bridge repairs in the county remains unspent according to figures released by the local authority under the Freedom of Information Act.

According to the council’s own figures, just £74.6 million of the £117.6 million in Government cash has been spent.

Despite having £43 million left in unspent flood repair funding, Cumbria’s Labour and Liberal Democrat-led county council has also revealed that more than 500 road and bridge repairs have either not been started or remain unfinished three years after the storm which devastated large parts of Cumbria.

According to the county council’s Freedom of Information response, more than 200 of these outstanding repairs are in South Lakeland.

Councillor James Airey, the county council’s Conservative group leader, is now calling on the county council to review the way it allocates Government funding to ensure repairs and other infrastructure improvements are carried out quickly and effectively.

Councillor James Airey said: “For thousands of residents who have had to put up with road diversions, closures and temporary traffic lights for three years, it will come as a real kick in the teeth to learn that the county council has failed to spend £43 million of road and bridge repair funding provided by the Government in the immediate aftermath of Storm Desmond.

“When our Labour and Liberal Democrat council receives Government funding for repairs and improvements, they are too often caught sitting on their hands to the detriment of our area and the people who live here.

“This is just the latest example and why the council now needs to take a no-holds-barred look at the way it goes about delivering infrastructure improvements in our county.”

Earlier this year, it was revealed that the council had failed to spend any of the £2.9 million it received from the Government for pothole repairs; and national funding improvements to Lonsdale Terrace in Ulverston had to be reallocated to other schemes because the local authority did not get its plans in place on time.

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Freedom of Information response (1 of 3) 155 KB
Freedom of Information response (2 of 3) 277.91 KB
Freedom of Information response (3 of 3) 239.13 KB