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Road maintenance budgets 'face 80 per cent cuts'

Council road maintenance and planning budgets could be cut by 80 per cent in real terms by the end of the decade, a report has warned.

The Local Government Association study said local authorities faced a £16.5 billion funding gap by 2019/20.

It said that if demand for social care and waste services was to be met, other services faced funding cuts of 66 per cent between 2010/11 and 2019/20. This is equivalent to 80 per cent when accounting for inflation.

The report said: “The 66 per cent cash cuts to non-waste, non-care budgets modelled in this paper [represents] a residual of a residual.

“It is what is left behind after central government budgets have been prioritised to protect schools, hospitals, pensioners and bondholders; and after council budgets have in turn been prioritised to fund care.

“As a result, spending on services such as planning and road maintenance have had to take a bigger hit.

“[This is] a perverse consequence when one considers that it is councils’ ability to invest in the services that help to generate economic growth that is being hampered.”

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