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  • Article: Jul 29, 2020

    Opposition Liberal Democrats at County Hall have slammed a decision by the Conservative run council to spend an extra £11m that the council has been given for road and footway repairs on new roads instead.

    A few months ago, the government provided increased funding for highways maintenance, increasing the funding for this year for England from £1bn to £1.5bn. Hertfordshire County Council's additional funding is just over £11m.

    The council has decided that instead of using it for what it was intended, it will spend it covering the cost of new roads at the A120,A602 and at Essex Road Bridge in East Herts. This is despite the fact that the council has over £300m in contingency funds for the major schemes.

    This information became public during a question at Full Council last week when the Executive Member for Highways, Phil Bibby, admitted that the money was not planned to be used for what the government had allocated it for.

    Liberal Democrat opposition Leader, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who found out the facts, hit out, " Frankly this is a disgrace and an insult to
    both the government and residents. The government rightly understood that more needed to be spent on highway and footway maintenance and to not do so from what is claimed to be a flagship Conservative authority is an insult to ministers and to all of us who have lobbied for this extra cash."

    "This money should be used to improve uneven and unsafe footways, cut back overgrown paths and cycleways and improve maintenance on our side streets. This was the government's intention. The County council has millions in reserves that it could use to support any extra road building costs - instead, it is saving it for its election year. By all means, ask the government to meet increased costs but we must put our residents first and not new roads. As usual, the Conservatives have got their priorities wrong in the green agenda."

  • Article: Jul 7, 2020

    Herts County Council has missed out on £450,000 of government funding for emergency measures to improve pavements and cycle ways. The council was promised nearly £1.7 million from the government for work that could be done in the next few weeks if it could come up with suitable schemes. Having looked at the council's proposals the government has cut the funding to just over £1.2 million. It is one of 22 councils who have missed out on their full allocation whilst 32 were given everything that they were promised. Hertfordshire's reduction is the third largest in England.

  • Article: Jun 5, 2020

    Conservatives show lack of commitment to climate change by generating extra carbon emissions.

    The Conservative-run Herts County Council has been slammed by environmental campaigners and the Liberal Democrat opposition for its
    failure to reduce carbon emissions from street lights.

    The Liberal Democrats proposed at a county meeting on Tuesday that all street lights that are switched on to full illumination at 5am in the
    morning be reduced to 50% illumination till 6am to save money and carbon emissions.

  • Article: Jun 4, 2020

    Liberal Democrats have called for an independent inquiry into the number of deaths of Hertfordshire care sector residents from COVID-19.

    Lib Dem Group Leader Stephen Giles-Medhurst said "We raised grave concern at a Special County Council meeting on Wednesday about the reported high level of deaths in the care sector in Hertfordshire.

    "The Lead Conservative member on Herts County Council admitted deaths were high especially in the Watford and Hertsmere areas compared to other districts in Hertfordshire. There could be a number of reasons for that but no one yet knows for sure why so it's wrong to speculate. We need an independent review to establish all the facts.

    Cllr Giles-Medhurst added "With now over 500 COVID-related deaths in the care sector reported by the county council this needs investigating. It's 500 too many. We need to know if this number of deaths and suffering could have been avoided and how. Were all the actions needed to minimise them taken? An inquiry would help us all understand that and help us learn and put in place better protection for our vulnerable in the care sector. It will also help families understand what occurred and help in their grief and loss."