Potholes

Stephen Hepburn, MP for the Jarrow Constituency has spoken in Parliament about the need for the Government to deal with the conditions of roads across the North East. 

Speaking in the ‘Potholes and Road Maintenance’ debate, Mr Hepburn said: 

“Does it not just show the mess the country is in that the Labour party has had to call a major parliamentary debate on potholes? Does it not also show what a false economy the Government’s seven years of austerity have been? They have made £200 million available to local councils to sort out potholes, when in the North East alone we need £1 billion.”

Jesse Norman MP, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Transport, was present at the debate but did not respond directly to Mr Hepburn’s questions in his speech. 

Earlier this year, the Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (ALARM) survey revealed that local Councils across England would need a one off sum of over £9.3 billion in order to get roads back into reasonable conditions. It was also found that Councils in the North East would need just under £1 billion in extra funding from the Government to deal with the problem. 

Bad weather conditions in the first few months of this year has only exacerbated the problem further. 

The Government have provided a funding pot where local authorities can bid to get extra cash. However, Mr Hepburn doesn’t think this goes near enough and is calling for adequate funding to enable North East local authorities to properly deal with road maintenance. 

Stephen Hepburn MP said: “Since 2010, under the Tories watch, roads in the North East have fallen into disrepair and people are getting sick of the shocking conditions they are in.

“At the same time, Councils in our region have had their Government funding cut by half on average. We have been one of the hardest hit regions of all.

“There is no doubt whatsoever that this has played apart in the condition our local roads are in now.

“I’m calling on the Tory Government to immediately address funding disparities in our region, to ensure that we get our fair share of funding, so that roads across the North East can be brought up to an acceptable standard.” 

ENDS 

Meet your MP

 Stephen-Hepburn-MP

Stephen Hepburn has served the Jarrow Constituency as MP since 1997.

He was last elected to serve in June 2017 and won the seat with a conclusive 17,263 majority.

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