§ 91. Sir J. Mellor
asked the Minister of Transport why he has reversed his former policy of encouraging local highway authorities to try to overtake accumulated arrears of maintenance; whether he is aware that any further delay will greatly increase the ultimate cost in labour, materials and money; and why he failed to consult the authorities affected before deciding to require them to cut their estimates for 1947–48 to 70 per cent. of their authorised expenditure in 1946–47 on Class I and II roads and to 40 per cent. of the said expenditure on Class III roads.
§ Mr. Barnes
It is still my view that arrears of highway maintenance due to the war should be made good as quickly as practicable, but it has been necessary to inform many county councils that grants will not be available towards the full amount of their estimates for the maintenance of classified roads in the current financial year because the anticipated Grant in Aid of the Road Fund is insufficient to allow of so generous a provision.
§ 92. Sir J. Mellor
asked the Minister of Transport whether he will give an assurance that the Warwick County 244W Council will be permitted to overtake in 1947–48 any arrears of road maintenance for which labour and materials are available.
§ Mr. Barnes
The amount of road maintenance to be undertaken is within the competence of the county council but I cannot hold out hope of a larger grant from the Road Fund than has already been indicated.