Head of highways expects significant improvement after new budget proposal

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Rodney Bass is very satisfied with the proposed budget Rodney Bass is very satisfied with the proposed budget

A self-proclaimed “brilliant” councillor has proposed to increase spending on roads but cut the budget for dealing with potholes.

A provisional Essex county Council budget includes a plan to increase spending on major resurfacing works from £83million to £91million in the coming financial year, financed by a 1.49 per cent increase in council tax.

But money earmarked for maintenance such as individual pothole repairs is to be cut by £2million to £90million.

Rodney Bass, the county council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “The budget will allow us to do more planned resurfacing work, but will still greatly restrict us in our reactive capabilities for potholes.

“The management of capital projects will be my top priority. If we are falling behind with certain planned works, it is important to redirect the funds so that we don’t lose them.

“The revenue funds are very restrictive so we need to be smarter about how we go about repairs.
“It’s not sensible to do a repair in Epping Forest and then on the other side of the county so we will plan to do a cluster of potholes in the same area.”

Cllr Bass said he didn’t expect a review of road conditions to show a significant improvement on last year.

He said: "I expect there to be significant improvement in the figures for 2014 to 2015 so hold judgement until September 2016."

“I’m a brilliant cabinet member but I’m not God. I can’t control the weather.

“Periods of extreme flooding are very bad for the roads, as is the extreme cold.”

The budget will be voted on at a full council meeting next month.

Comments (3)

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5:09pm Thu 16 Jan 14

villager1 says...

"brilliant councillor" the man is delusional. Just read the stories about the shoddy potholes repairs, look at the state of our road in Essex and the problems caused to all sorts of people by the night time lights switch off. This is the man that had the front to sue his own authority when he damaged his car in a pothole that he was responsible for not having repaired. What an idiot. He needs to be deposed from his position - what is the matter with our Essex councillors that they put such a person in authority - obviously a serious collective lack of grey matter.
"brilliant councillor" the man is delusional. Just read the stories about the shoddy potholes repairs, look at the state of our road in Essex and the problems caused to all sorts of people by the night time lights switch off. This is the man that had the front to sue his own authority when he damaged his car in a pothole that he was responsible for not having repaired. What an idiot. He needs to be deposed from his position - what is the matter with our Essex councillors that they put such a person in authority - obviously a serious collective lack of grey matter. villager1
  • Score: 8

9:40pm Thu 16 Jan 14

SNGreen says...

Yes 'Brilliant' he has been doing such a 'fantastic' job at Highways!

He can't control the weather but he can seek to increase funds for pot holes as well as major resurfacing. What does he class as major?

Anyway Villager 1 he will change jobs after May most likely as they routinely change posts and cost us all money with constant rebrandings. I know where that money could be better spent!!!
Yes 'Brilliant' he has been doing such a 'fantastic' job at Highways! He can't control the weather but he can seek to increase funds for pot holes as well as major resurfacing. What does he class as major? Anyway Villager 1 he will change jobs after May most likely as they routinely change posts and cost us all money with constant rebrandings. I know where that money could be better spent!!! SNGreen
  • Score: 2

6:28am Fri 17 Jan 14

pan says...

To declare he can not control the weather is a ridiculous statement, no one expects councillors to control the weather but we do expect them to act in the interests of our wishes and concerns.

If they did repairs properly in the first place these pot holes would not be a continual maintenance issue. Countries with far worse weather than we experience manage to keep roads repaired to a reasonable standard.

I witnessed a pot hole being repaired this week and the contractors didn't even sweep the water out of the puddle, they just dumped the tarmac in the whole whacked it down and left. That will not last and that is a complete waste of money. That will not be the weathers fault when it falls apart.

This is the same council that has just handed money back to developers?
To declare he can not control the weather is a ridiculous statement, no one expects councillors to control the weather but we do expect them to act in the interests of our wishes and concerns. If they did repairs properly in the first place these pot holes would not be a continual maintenance issue. Countries with far worse weather than we experience manage to keep roads repaired to a reasonable standard. I witnessed a pot hole being repaired this week and the contractors didn't even sweep the water out of the puddle, they just dumped the tarmac in the whole whacked it down and left. That will not last and that is a complete waste of money. That will not be the weathers fault when it falls apart. This is the same council that has just handed money back to developers? pan
  • Score: 1

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