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Assembly Fails Welshpool in latest freeze

Created on 16/12/2010 @ 10:37

A Powys County Councillor has accused the Assembly Government of failing Welshpool during the recent freeze.

As more extreme weather is set to sweep across the region Councillor Russell George has raised concern that the Assembly has not supported the Welshpool area with crucial funding and is ill prepared with salt supplies running low.

Earlier this month Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant announced he would provide £7 million for local authorities across Wales to spend on repairing potholes and buying road salt for gritting this winter.

Powys County Councillor and Conservative Assembly candidate Mr George has said he was shocked that only £500,000 of this important funding would be allocated to Powys County Council. He is also concerned that large salt supplies may not arrive until the end of the year.

“I questioned how the £7 million would be distributed and was shocked that Powys County Council would only receive £500,000," said George.

"Powys covers 25% of the surface of Wales, so the amount we are receiving is not in proportion, I feel that the Assembly government has just let us down”

In a further revelation, Councillor George said that he understands that the Assembly Government has simply ‘sought prices’ for further salt supplies, while two ‘strategic salt barns’ in Wales will not be filled until next year.

“I would have hoped that the Assembly Government would have learnt the lessons of last winter’s salt shortages which put lives at risk on Powys’ roads. We’ve known for months that winter is coming and Wales needs to be prepared for the worst," he added.”

Councillor George praised local staff saying: “We should be grateful for Powys County Council staff that go out on the salt lorries in cold unsociable hours, and for all the staff who plan and answer the phones, I think they have done a really good job”

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