Residents frequently contact me about the disappointing state of local roads. From ever increasing pot holes that damage cars, cause drivers to swerve suddenly, or recently - fill with water and splash pedestrians, to poor road markings in desperate need of repainting to make our roads safe, it is clear that more needs to be done.
This issue is the responsibility of the local Councils, and I spend a lot of time speaking with both Leeds City Council and Wakefield District Council officers to try and address these issues, though sadly I am not always able to be successful.
Some residents ask if the Council's budget is to blame for this, and whilst it is true that the COVID Pandemic has of course placed strains on budgets across every level of Government. I am pleased that this Conservative Government has stepped up and supported local authorities across the UK, and the spending power of local authorities is expected to increase by 4.5 per cent in 2021-22.
Separately, over £3 billion additional funding is being provided, which includes £1.55 billion for service pressures, £670 million for council tax support and £762 million to compensate lost tax revenue. Funding to address homelessness and rough sleeping is being raised to over £750 million, alongside £1.3 billion toward adult and children's social care. £220 million is being allocated to help local areas prepare for the Shared Prosperity Fund and £621 million will be made available through the Towns Fund.
Additionally, at a recent Spending Review, the Chancellor announced that £1.7 billion has been made available for local highway authorities for 2021-2022 to improve the condition of local roads and associated infrastructure. I am confident that combined this huge and unprecedented level of support for local authorities will ensure that they are able to provide local communities with the services they need.
Local authorities across West Yorkshire have so far received an extra £353 Million to support vital local services, and over half of this funding is not ringfenced, meaning local leaders can decide how to spend these funds. With winter weather increasing the problems with our roads, and lower than usual road usage due to lockdown, I believe now would be the time to repair potholes, repaint road markings, and make our roads better and safer for drivers and pedestrians alike.