A Freedom of Information request by the Liberal Democrats to Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council has revealed that between 2017 and 2021 the authority spent an average of £6.3 million each year resurfacing the borough’s roads.
The Lib Dems say that if current trends continue, the forecast spend for this financial year will reach just £3.8 million overall.
They also say that it was revealed that the council’s increased spending on pothole repairs since April has been funded by “significant, and far greater cuts” to the road resurfacing budget.
Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Cradley and Wollescote Ryan Priest said: “Dudley’s roads are an embarrassment, a stain on this administration’s record.
“Cutting the budget by stealth will only make the situation worse.
“In April, the Conservatives promised us a ‘Pothole Blitz’, but time and time again this Conservative administration has overpromised before an election and underdelivered after one, this time they have been caught red-handed.
“The Liberal Democrats are calling for a pothole promise from the council.
“We want to see a record level of investment in resurfacing and in road repairs, and transparency about how that money is spent.”
Councillor Karen Shakespeare, cabinet member for public realm at Dudley MBC said: “We put in an additional £1 million last year, 2021/22, and we are putting in an extra £1 million for the forthcoming year, 2022/2023. It is going through the budget process and will go to full council on March 7.”
“I do know that it is on top of the money that is already in the budget for road repairs.”
Councillor Shakespeare said the £1m the council put in last year is on target to be fully spent by the end of March on residential roads and potholes.
“We are looking to do what we can with what we have available,” she said.
“We had ten gangs repairing the roads on a daily basis on the run ups to Christmas.
“The previous administration did not put any additional money in for roads - we are doing something really positive.”