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Wirral's 20mph speed cut programme hits the skids
10:27am Wednesday 12th September 2012 in News
CONCERNS have been raised that a council spending freeze will signal the end for the expansion of a road safety initiative in Wirral.
Oxton councillor Stuart Kelly criticised Wirral Council cabinet for “halting progress” on introducing 20mph zones in residential areas.
The authority froze all “non-essential” spending last week as it struggled to stem a projected £17m budget overspend.
It was also revealed that over the next three years, Government funding to Wirral will be reduced by a massive £100m.
Commenting on the halt, Cllr Kelly said: “Cabinet has made a decision to freeze all expenditure without fully understanding the implications on the delivery of important projects like this vital road safety initiative.
“A lot of work has already taken place consulting with neighbourhood forums.
“I know in Oxton we were looking forward to finally getting safer roads at the Holmlands estate and around Oxton Village along with all other residential areas throughout Oxton.
“This arbitrary decision shows that whilst cabinet may know the cost of everything it clearly knows the value of nothing.
“Cabinet needs to rethink this and ensure that important services and projects like the 20mph are released from the effects of the expenditure freeze."
Council leader Cllr Phil Davies said at cabinet that even though the cuts would be unpopular, it was vital that they were implemented. He said: “Finding ways of making £100m is a massive challenge for us, which is why we need to engage all our residents, communities, the voluntary sector, businesses and staff to find out what their priorities are.
“By doing this it will help shape our budget for the next three years when we set it in November. We have a responsibility to the public to ensure we get it right.
“Whatever cuts are made might not be what everyone wants, but they will have to be made nevertheless.”