EXTRA funding to the tune of £13.7 million is being sought to maintain the road infrastructure in Powys. Three bids had been submitted to the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund to find cash to maintain roads and bridges.
Powys councillors have also been advised of proposals totalling £7.7 million that need to be made in cuts, savings, and income generation to balance the budget by the end of March 2023.
Next year the HTR department will receive just under £30.2 million from a total council budget of £302.3 million.
Part of this will goes to maintain the roads in the county.
Cllr Jonathan Wilkinson said:
“Our economic ambitions in Powys are very dependent on the road infrastructure
“Does the existing budget allow for any improvement work, also what funding bids have been put forward.
“I understand there’s some potential for levelling up funding that’s available, what will that deliver.”
Mr Perry explained that “roughly” £6.5million has been invested in the roads from the council’s capital budget last year which is “sustaining the service.”
He said that this had been used to improve class A, B and C roads but the rising costs of materials was something the council needs to be “mindful of.”
Mr Perry said: “I want to emphasise there is no cut for highways .
“There is a glimmer of hope that we’ll see more money.
“We do need to look at funding for our bridges.
“We have over 700 of them and a budget of £550,000 to maintain them.
“We’ve put a levelling up bid for £4.8 million to cover the bridges and £3.5 million for active travel (walking and cycling) so that’s two schemes there.”
Mr Perry added that a funding bid for £5.4million for road resurfacing had also been submitted.
He said: “So with a combination of internal and external funding we’re going in the right direction.”
Environment portfolio holder Cllr Heulwen Hulme said:
“I’m confident we continue to put together a strong council programme to take our roads forward not backwards.
“There are various funding opportunities out there at the moment you just have to meet the criteria.”