There's just no doubt what the main topic in the draft-Budget feedback was: roads and pavements.
So - we're planning to invest an additional £12 million in that budget-area, for 2013/14, virtually doubling the existing spend - these additional monies will:
- Help keep the city moving
- Be to the benefit of all road users (motorists, buses, cyclists and pedestrians)
- create and maintain Edinburgh's cycle infrastructure (with 6% of the transport revenue and capital budgets so allocated)
- Increase the work to roads and pavements in residential streets
- Enhance the Streetscape in local shopping areas by prioritising pavement resurfacing in higher footfall areas
By far the largest allocation of funding will be used for general road and pavement resurfacing/reconstruction, with the existing system of prioritisation being used to determine the increased programme of works.
In addition, we're planning to employ additional inspectors to ensure utility companies repair roads to an appropriate standard with a commitment to begin to remedy the particular issues in rural west Edinburgh. Utility companies should indeed abide by their obligation to help us maintain the condition of our roads.
Another strong theme coming from the draft-Budget consultation, was the desire to see more monies devolved locally - so, we're going to do just that, and devolve some £120,000 to neighbourhood areas for targeted clean-ups and to employ an additional 12 Environmental Wardens to help keep our streets clean and neighbourhoods safer.
This will help build on the success of previous neighbourhood targeted cleaning ‘blitz’ programmes of local problems areas.
All of this - and more - will be debated/decided at the special Council Meeting at 10am this Thursday, 7th February, when the final 2013/14 Council Budget will be approved. You can watch it here.