Local MP Jo Swinson has accused Alex Salmond of refusing to say whether he will spend the available money to fix East Dunbartonshire’s crumbling roads. Jo is now challenging the new First Minister to take action.
The UK Government committed £16.8m to Scotland in March to help fix dangerous potholes. But Jo said Alex Salmond ignored calls to explain where and when the money will be spent.
Jo said: “The state of our roads is a cause of great frustration to many local people. I asked Alex Salmond to explain whether this money would be made available to local councils to deal with our dire road surfaces, and his response was deliberately evasive. Mr Salmond is not willing to match the financial commitment of the UK Government to sort out this major problem, and instead he is claiming spending priorities lie elsewhere.
“Alex Salmond told me that the Scottish Government is prioritising spending on childcare this year, but this money for roads is totally different, and was specifically allocated in March. Even on childcare the Scottish Government is not going as far as the UK Government which is providing free nursery education to 40% of two year olds right now, compared with just 27% in Scotland from next year. This only happened because of Liberal Democrat pressure, and now the SNP Government must match what is being delivered in England.
“East Dunbartonshire receives one of the lowest levels of funding for roads in Scotland because of a lack of trunk roads. Our council overspent on road repairs by £1million last year and urgently needs help to sort out the problem of potholes with winter around the corner. So I have challenged the new First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, to take immediate action and spend this available money on our decaying roads.”