Saturday, 29 April 2017

Devon County Council elections: the issues > infrastructure

The County has a very large budget - and much of it is for infrastructure:
Infrastructure | Economy and Enterprise

Devon County Council is responsible for 85 per cent of all local public services in Devon.

With an annual budget of more than £1.1 billion, it touches the lives of thousands of people by providing vital local services to support children and families, the elderly and vulnerable and communities.

It is also responsible for important infrastructure such as Devon’s massive road network and is the only democratically-elected voice for the whole county on issues such as the economy and sustainability.

Helping the local community to recover from the recession, investing in a sustainable future for our communities, protecting the environment, caring for our growing number of old people, ensuring a good future for our children are all key issues the county continues to face in the coming years.

Continued pressure on public spending, a national crisis in health and social care, devolution of powers from Westminster and Brexit all give this particular election added significance.

Crediton Rural candidates in the County Council elections on May 4 | News | Crediton Country Courier

Politicians do like to promise lots of infrastructure:
Futures Forum: Brexit: and Trump and infrastructure projects

Loads of cash are being thrown at bridges, roads and the like - just a couple of weeks before the County election:

Sid Valley to benefit from Devon’s £50m roads programme

13 April 2017 Stephen Sumner

Alma Bridge. Ref shs 8755-10-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Pothole repairs on the main road through Sidford and detailed designs to replace Alma Bridge feature in a £51.4million capital programme for 2017/18.

The Department for Transport cash will also allow Devon County Council (DCC) to keep highways and footways safe and to improve their drainage.

The A3052 in Sidford features in a £9.8million maintenance programme that focuses on roads with a large number of potholes and structural defects.

Some £100,000 has been allocated for the work in Church Street and High Street.

Funding has also been set aside for detailed design and, subject to approval, start of construction of a replacement for Alma Bridge, which was damaged in 2012.

Some £45,000 has been allocated for assessment and there is a further £250,000 for construction.

But a report to DCC’s cabinet says the Government award ‘provides insufficient capital funding to meet all network maintenance needs’.

C roads and unclassified roads make up 87 per cent of Devon’s 8,000-mile highways network, and the report also says almost a quarter of them need immediate maintenance.

Sid Valley to benefit from Devon’s £50m roads programme - Breaking news & sport in Sidmouth | Sidmouth Herald


Whilst this might all be very welcome, the town is still awaiting the 'traffic management report' promised ten years ago:
Vision Group for Sidmouth - Transport - January 2008
Futures Forum: Traffic Management Plan for Sidmouth: looking for 'low cost, quick win' solutions


And there is that other bit of infrastructure these rural parts are still missing. The issue of availability of rural broadband is pressing and continues to be a problem: “another £53million was needed for Devon-wide rural broadband.” 
£12m infrastructure plan for Sidmouth - News - Sidmouth Herald 
Patchy' services blight communities (January 2017)

It's one of many priorities for the leading party
Devon Tories want four more years as Sajid Javid launches 'From Austerity to Opportunity' manifesto | Devon Live

And whilst the EDA might not be very happy
Rural Broadband « East Devon Alliance

... the leading party is:
Cllr Ian Thomas - Trinitymatters - 1,000Mb Broadband coming to Trinity – no, it’s not April 1st!

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