Published: February 19, 2009
Burnham-On-Sea MP's anger over 'highways robbery'

Burnham-On-Sea's MP, David Heathcoat-AmoryBurnham-On-Sea's MP, David Heathcoat-Amory, has this week criticised Somerset County Council for slashing its highways budget by £1.25m as part of a cost-cutting move.

The MP said after Wednesday's decision: "Somerset County council received an extra nine per cent grant from the Government for the current year. It is inexplicable that they are now cutting essential expenditure on highways."

"Motorists are paying more and more in taxes and getting less and less back. In Somerset there is already a huge backlog of road maintenance and also many essential safety improvements which will now be shelved."

Ken Maddock, leader of the Conservatives at County Hall, joined Mr Heathcoat-Amory in condemning the County Council's decision.

"This is outrageous, motorists and taxpayers are being penalised yet again. Throughout the course of history, it has not been an unusual occurrence for members of the public to be robbed whilst travelling on Britain’s roads. However, in this case the highwaymen are unable to hide behind a mask, so at least the public will know to whom they can attribute the blame."

The plan to slash the highways budget for 2009/10 and become permanent thereafter, was ratified at a full council meeting at County Hall Taunton on Wednesday 18th February 2009.

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