Council Cabinet approves £120m road and building repair funding proposal

Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet has agreed to borrow up to £120m to invest in infrastructure improvements – easing the spending squeeze on road and property repairs.

A report discussed today acknowledges that under-investment has resulted in significant reduction in quality of major and minor roads, as well as pavements, with an increase in car damage and personal injury claims.

Residents regularly say that they want to see improvements to the roads, and the investment proposal means the whole county would be benefit from a ‘growth dividend’.

And now today’s decision means around £80m could be spent on highway improvements, with the rest of the £120m used to invest in other county council-owned assets especially schools. Detailed business cases will be produced for each proposed project funded from the investment pot.

How it will be paid for

Oxfordshire’s expected growth in homes and council tax income gives scope to borrow to invest that will, over the long term, save money.

The county council has already taken action in response to road conditions and having agreed in July to spend £10m extra this year on the roads.

The Cabinet report also refers to research by the independent Transport Research Laboratory that shows that maintaining roads generates £5 within the local economy for every £1 invested.

As the borrowing will be taken over a number of years, based on individual business cases, the programme of investment can be stopped if the increased Council Tax revenue does not materialise. This will keep debt management costs at an affordable level within the medium term financial plan.

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