Cumbria

'Too much on' caused South Lakeland roads overspend

Pothole Image copyright PA
Image caption The money was used to fix potholes, as well as on drainage schemes

The need to complete road works before a deadline was partly responsible for an overspend, councillors have heard.

In the October budget, Cumbria County Council was awarded an extra £12m for potholes and roads maintenance - with £1.9m going to South Lakeland.

It had to be used by March 2019, and "so many things going on at once" had an impact on the council's financial management.

The £291,000 overspend will now be clawed back from the 2019-20 budget.

A meeting of the local committee for South Lakeland was told the extra money was "useful", the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

However, it was noted at the time the deadline could cause highways managers a headache as highways projects were planned to wind down in winter.

Peter Hosking, the county council's highways network manager for South Cumbria, said: "It did help us deliver additional schemes.

"But with the works being compressed into such a short space of time, we had so many things ongoing at once that some of the financial management wasn't as good as we would have liked."

Works planned for the coming year will now be reviewed, and some could fail to make the cut until 2020-21.

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