Epping Forest highways cash to be spent elsewhere in Essex (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Councillor Chris Pond has called in a decision to spend cash meant for Epping Forest across Essex
More than half a million pounds set to be spent on roads and repairs in Epping Forest will now be diverted to other districts.
The portfolio holder for highways at Essex County Council, Rodney Bass, has taken the decision to try to save £1.5m from 12 areas, including Epping Forest.
Cash saved will then be spent on white lining in Colchester, Chelmsford, Harlow and Basildon.
Epping Forest is set to have £523k taken from its budget, according to Loughton County Councillor Chris Pond.
Last week, Mr Pond called in the decision made on October 11, insisting that it is reviewed.
He said: “Local Highways Panels schemes have taken ages to deliver because of shortage of staff.
“Rodney Bass took decision to avoid the cash being lost to Highways, I applaud that, but spending our cash elsewhere is not justified.
“He has done well to keep the money in Highways but has made the wrong decision in spending it only in four places.
“We have problems as bad or worse than theirs.”
The decision, which has been challenged on behalf of the district’s residents, may be difficult to reverse, according to Cllr Pond.
The county councillor called the decision “grossly unfair”, stating that whilst four districts benefit from £375000, Loughton is desperate for even £ 10k for “long overdue” works.
It is not clear which other areas are set to miss out on the cash.
The Guardian is trying to make contact with Rodney Bass to explain his decision.
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