MOST of the complaints I receive from residents and parish councils in my electoral division are in relation to the state of the roads and footways.

A new county survey of parish councils’ views on this was originally scheduled for December.

Now March seems more likely and if the results are unfavourable, as they were last time, I suspect they will not emerge until after the May county council elections.

The Liberal Democrat proposal mentioned in your paper last week was to investigate bringing road repairs back “in house”.

Clearly if it turned out that it would result in more spending on administration and less on repairs we would not pursue it.

However, other councils have taken this route and have presumably researched this.

The extra £6million the Conservatives said they were going to put into next year’s budget consists of capital grants to the county council from the government!

At the county’s budget meeting, we Liberal Democrats put forward our proposal for a further £4million to be spent on roads on top of this.

The Conservatives shamefacedly decided to match this, although in a less flexible way. They are now claiming this was all their own idea.

Your article ends with the Conservative claim that the Liberal Democrats left a large backlog in road repairs 12 years ago.

At that time, and long before then, the backlog was reckoned to be around £130million.

The Conservatives had it recalculated and came up with a figure around £30million less.

This has now entered Conservative folklore as a real improvement in the state of the roads whereas it was a paper exercise that didn’t fill a single pothole.

When the Conservatives took over the council it was on the back of manifesto promises that offered an extra £4million in road maintenance over four years and also that they would stop incinerators being built in Gloucestershire. Neither promise was kept.

They did spend some extra money on roads, but borrowed the money to do so, increasing the council’s debt which they have since had to claw back.

John Cordwell

Gloucestershire County Council councillor (Lib Dem, Wotton-under-Edge)