THE Chancellor’s announcement that councils nationwide will be able to bid for a share of £200m to tackle potholes was labelled a “pittance” by the Labour leader of South Tyneside Council today.
The council has to pay about £250,000 a year to tackle potholes – which are a huge issue with residents.
Given the backdrop, council leader Iain Malcolm said he was unimpressed with the funding announced yesterday.
He said: “£200m for councils to bid for is a pittance.
“We will certainly bid for the cash, but what is needed isn’t a lottery to pay for service improvements.
“We need a fundamental overhaul of how local services are financed so that money from central government is allocated more fairly across the country.”
Residents in Rothbury Avenue, who say theirs is one of the worst pothole-scarred roads in the UK, do not believe the budget announcement will help tackle the 80 potholes in their street.
Joe Woods, who offered South Tyneside Council £5,000 to repair potholes in Rothbury Avenue, said: “It’s not repairs we need, but all the street resurfaced.
“But I cannot see our council getting money for our street. They can find the money for canopies over doorways, which are nothing to do with health and safety, but not to repair our street.
“Plus, I don’t think there are any votes in it for our council.”
Fellow Rothbury Avenue resident Bob Tuck said: “To be honest, repairing the potholes will be useless – we need wholesale resurfacing of the road.”