Lincolnshire County Council leaders have expanded on how they plan to tackle their new priorities, which include potholes and fly-tipping.
The first full council meeting after the local elections was held at the Epic Centre at Lincolnshire Showground due to social distancing measures.
The leader of the council, Conservative Cllr Martin Hill, said potholes were “the number one issue which voters raised” and that he plans to lobby the government for more funding to fix them.
As for fly-tipping, the county council plans to work with district councils to clear litter, educate people not to fly tip and review the tip booking system after restrictions ease to make access easier.
The council had to dip into reserves this year to earmark around £12 million for extra road maintenance, and it hopes to put more money in at the end of the year for potholes. However, they face the government potentially withdrawing further funding.
Cllr Hill said in the meeting: “The simple fact is we just need more money.”
“The issue is we’ve got to lobby the government to make sure that they reinstate the £12 million pounds which was taken away from us in their budget in February.”
He added that the council prioritise potholes, but it is a “challenge” to keep on top of the 5,000 miles of road.
Cllr Hill praised the “magnificent” volunteers who pick litter up for free.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of tips stayed closed last year. The council have gradually relaxed the rules.
The policy will be reviewed on whether the booking system will stay in place after the pandemic.
Cllr Hill assured there is no direct correlation between fly-tipping and people being able to access tips.
Cllr Richard Davies, Executive Councillor for Highways, Transport and IT at Lincolnshire County Council, said that each year over 40,000 potholes are filled.
However, he highlighted that the government have taken 25% of Lincolnshire’s road maintenance budget away.
Cllr Davies said: “Taking away money from rural authorities like Lincolnshire […] to focus on things like HS2 is a cruel kick in the teeth and I don’t think it’s a fair use for taxpayer’s money.”
New technologies are planned for filling potholes with a hot material that Cllr Davies said will improve the quality of repairs.
Cllr Daniel McNally, the newly-assigned Executive Councillor for Waste and Trading Standards at Lincolnshire County Council, said the waste partnership is collaborating with district councils who have set up a specialist fly-tipping crime unit to combat the issue.
He said: “Going forward, there’ll be a programme of going into schools, showing them what’s recyclable and what isn’t recyclable and how the process works.”
The booking system is hoped to be disbanded once COVID rules from government are relaxed further.
At the annual general meeting of the full council on Friday May 21, Cllr Michael Brookes was re-elected as county council chairman.
This was the first council meeting to be held face to face since Thursday March 19, 2020, and was “held according to full COVID secure guidelines” at Lincolnshire Showground, say the council.