My column in the Morley Observer & Advertiser

Potholes, potholes, potholes! Our local roads would test even the best drivers to give their passengers a smooth drive. That’s the message from my recent consultation. After the flatlining economy and the rising cost of living, it’s the thing people mention most often.

Last Friday I travelled up to Bruntcliffe, into Morley, over to the Ingles and onto to Wakefield. People are dead right. Some roads are in a shocking state.

Mending the roads isn’t glamorous but it does impact on people’s lives. Yet the Council, who look after 95% of local roads, has had their hands tied. They’re trying to protect vital services for children and the elderly as well as mending the roads from huge cuts to their budgets which have gone too far too fast. Add a couple of shocking winters into the mix and drivers and their passengers are literally feeling the impact.

As the Morley Observer goes to print this week, I’m preparing to respond to the Government’s Spending Review when The Chancellor sets out his financial plans for after the next election. Of course there have to be difficult decisions to get the deficit down, but we also need action to create jobs and boost the economy. Because getting more growth now would bring in more tax revenues and mean services would not face such deep cuts later on.

Instead of simply setting out more cuts for two year’s time, the Chancellor could be acting to create the jobs and growth we need now. Investing in repairing our roads would get our construction workers back to work and help the economy to grow. Using a tax on bankers’ bonuses could fund jobs for young people out of work. Instead of a tax cut for millionaires, we could be supporting families on low and middle incomes.

I sincerely hope the Government will see sense and change course. But I fear that we’re headed for more of the same. No plan to turn things around. No plan to get the deficit down in a fairer way. And no plan to sort out our roads. We’re in for a bumpy ride.

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Posted June 26th, 2013 by Ed