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Potholes and Road Maintenance

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:56 pm on 16th March 2010.

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Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Minister of State (Department for Transport) 10:56 pm, 16th March 2010

All local highway authorities should plan for different scenarios in the winter months. I have mentioned the historic amounts that have been invested in local authorities around the country over the past 13 years, but the hon. Lady will be aware that some parties advised us to make immediate cuts in this financial year. We did not take that advice, and have continued to invest record amounts this year as well.

However, I hasten to add that, if we had taken the advice to reduce the deficit even faster-by half over the next four years-the result would be immediate cuts to local authorities around the country, including the one that the hon. Lady represents. We have also been advised to impose a zero increase in council tax. If we had taken that advice, any idea that there might be additional funds for local authorities would have been laughable.

The context for this debate is that the hon. Lady is asking for central Government subsidy to help her local authority with potholes. That does cause one to wonder whether she knows what she is talking about.